Toyota Expands Hybrid Car's Market

Toyota Motor Corp. will introduce versions of its Prius hybrid-power car in Europe and North America in 2000.

The car has been for sale in Japan since June, selling 7,700 models. Honda's EV Plus electric vehicle has been for sale in California since May.

Combining an electric motor, storage batteries, generator, and a gasoline engine, Prius is able to achieve efficiency and low emissions by using the best combination of gasoline and electric power for the conditions it encounters. Toyota claims the Prius is twice as fuel efficient with 1/10th the emissions of conventional power trains. It says a typical buyer in Japan saves about 1,000 liters of gasoline in two years with the Prius.

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