TOKYO — Toyota showed its new plug-in hybrid Monday, available for leasing this month in Japan, the U.S. and Europe, and promised the green vehicle for sale to regular consumers by 2011 at an "affordable" price.
What's affordable? $35,000?
Toyota's plug-in travels 23.4 kilometers as an electric vehicle on a single charge, and gets 57 kilometers a liter in mileage. When the charge runs out, a plug-in starts running like a regular hybrid, ensuring drivers won't run out of power on the road.
Big fat hairy deal. I want one round-trip's worth of electricity, in my case, about forty miles, or no deal. Since they're test-marketing these on a lease-only basis in Japan before foisting it upon us Americans, I hope they make a few tweaks between now and then.