Toyota Ireland has unveiled a new Plug-in Prius hybrid car as part of a demonstration programme across Europe to gauge public opinion the model.
The demonstration programme will take place across Europe over the next 18 months in advance of its full launch to the market in 2012.
Eamon Ryan, TD, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, said Ireland would have incentives in place in order to promote the take up of electric vehicles across the country.
“Ireland has a range of state supports on offer for customers who wish to make the change to the electric car. Grants of up to €2,500 on plug-in hybrids will be in place next year and will also qualify for a €2,500 rebate on VRT.
“Coupled with ESB’s rollout of the charging infrastructure nationwide we are helping people make the move to sustainable forms of transport,” he said.
Testing driving conditions
The programme will place three vehicles in Ireland initially in a number of leading Irish and multinational companies in order to test the vehicles under variable, everyday driving conditions.
The cars will be the same size and design as the current third-generation full hybrid Prius, but with a significant difference: in place of the nickel-metal hydride, high-performance battery in the car’s Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain, a rechargeable lithium-ion battery is used.
Toyota will work closely with the Electricity Supply Board (ESB) as part of the programme, which will see the sharing of information between both organisations regarding the recharging infrastructure in the hope of supporting the planning and implementation of ESB’s nationwide charging infrastructure.