UPDATE 1-Toyota to make plug-ins standard for Prius from 2014-Nikkei

Sun May 8, 2011 9:00pm EDT

(Adds details, background)

May 9 (Reuters) - Toyota is set to make plug-in technology standard in its popular Prius hybrid car from 2014, the Nikkei business daily said on Monday.

The plug-in Prius, which will be launched in 2012, can be recharged from an ordinary household electricity outlet.

The 2012 Prius model will be priced at about the same level as the current model, and will feature high-performance lithium ion batteries, enabling it to travel more than 60 km per litre of gasoline, compared with 38 km for the current version, the paper said.

Toyota said in October last year cumulative sales of the Prius had reached two million units worldwide. The company is aiming for overall hybrid vehicle sales of a million units a year by 2015, compared with 700,000 units in 2010, the Nikkei said.

Although Toyota is also developing electric vehicles, these will require networks of recharging stations, which are not yet in place. Toyota is therefore looking to plug-in hybrids as the most promising next-generation technology, the Nikkei said. (Reporting by Isabel Reynolds; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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