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EDF and Toyota Announce European Technology Partnership for Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles

EDF (Électricité de France) and Toyota announced their new technology partnership to evaluate Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles (PHEVs) in Europe. (Earlier post.) The objective of the partnership is to develop practical solutions for the commercialization of Toyota’s prototype technology.

Under the joint agreement, a small number of Toyota PHEVs will be integrated into EDF’s fleet and will be tested on public roads in France under every-day driving conditions. Road trials of the PHEVs will commence in France in the autumn and may be expanded to other European countries in the future.

The plug-in vehicles are based on the Prius with an expanded NiMH battery pack that can be recharged from the grid. (Earlier post.)

EDF and Toyota have also developed a charging and invoicing system, equipped in each of the test vehicles. This system is compatible with a new generation of public charging stations, which aim to make electric power more accessible on public roads and car parks and to reduce the cost to the customer.

I am delighted by this partnership between EDF and Toyota on a new generation of vehicles. This innovation is a promising move towards acceptance of electricity as a competitive and ecologically-viable source of energy for European motorists. It strives to reconcile the challenges of individual mobility, economic growth and environmental impacts.

—Pierre Gadonneix, President and CEO of EDF

The EDF Group is a leading European energy company, present in all areas of the electricity value chain from generation to trading, and increasingly active in the gas chain in Europe. The leader in the French electricity market, the Group also has positions in the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy. Sales in 2006 reached almost €59 billion (US$80 billion).

Comments

Harvey D

Excellent PHEV news. As the sole clean electricity (almost 80% nuclear) supplier in France, EDF has a vested interest and is an ideal partner.

Other electric power suppliers should joint in. i.e. 200+ suppliers x 100 PHEVs each (avg.) could put some 20 000+ PHEVs on the road worldwide. Each major user could test a few different versions to widen the operational testing scope.

Way to go Toyota.

Noah Nehm

Harvey - I couldn't agree with you more. As France has so much cheap power available in the off-peak hours, it only makes sense to move in this direction.

Here's another thing: France has a well developed diesel component to their automotive industry. As such, I can't help but wonder if Toyota may be thinking about the development of a diesel based hybrid technology, which would be an excellent match on many levels.

Evelyn J. Dymkowski

Where are the plug-in hybrids for us? In California they are changing the Prius to get 100 miles to the gallon. Why not here? Also I WANT the Echo that can get 100 mpg that Toyota developed and never produced. Where is that car that we want here? Why is Toyota now acting like American auto makers?

Kit P.

Nuke plants in France load follow so PHEV would be supplied energy with no additional environmental impact. I would also suspect average trips are shorter in France.

In California, PHEV would be supplied energy from inefficient LNG fired power plants. However, both PG&E and SCE have some form of EV testing.

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