Toronto, Ontario – Toyota has announced the first phase of a national Canadian partnership for real-world demonstrations of the all-new Prius plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHV).

Unlike traditional hybrids, the Prius PHV has the ability to recharge its newly-developed lithium-ion battery from the electrical grid and travel longer distances and at faster speeds on electric power alone. This technology means fuel savings and lower emissions.

Toyota Canada is working with thirteen partners on the first phase of the national trial, including academics, provincial government departments, municipalities and provincial power authorities. The partnerships are located in British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec.

“We’re encouraged to be joined by partners from across the stakeholder spectrum to ensure a successful introduction of plug-in vehicles to Canada,” said Sandy Di Felice, director of external affairs for Toyota Canada. “Each province that is part of this national trial has already shown great vision in planning for plug-in vehicles.”

Toyota will provide each province with a Prius PHV to conduct local test programs, while a fifth will remain with the company for its own technical and marketing tests. Trials will begin shortly and continue through next winter to assess the vehicles’ performance under a range of driving and climate conditions. Each vehicle will be fitted with a telematics device to capture performance data, and partners are encouraged to drive the Prius PHVs in as many road, traffic and weather conditions as possible.

The Prius PHV is designed to deliver a range of more than 20 kilometres and a top speed of almost 100 km/h on battery power alone. A small on-board Atkinson-cycle gasoline engine enables the vehicle to revert to hybrid mode and operate like a regular Prius, giving the vehicle driving range and performance.

“We’re pleased that Canada has been selected as one of the participating countries for Toyota’s global test of the Prius PHV,” Di Felice said. “This enables us to conduct technical and market acceptance tests unique to Canada’s driving experiences and climatic conditions. Moreover, feedback from the Canadian tests will help ensure the Prius PHV performs well in any country where drivers encounter cold temperatures, ice and snow.”

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