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Toyota tests plug-in hybrids in the U.K.

Toyota's announced that it's testing plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHVs) in the U.K.

hybrid plugging in
The plug-in hybrid vehicle being tested in the U.K. is basically a modified Prius. Toyota

With Toyota's announcement that it's testing plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHVs) in the U.K., it seems like the Brits are getting all of the plug-in love these days. The announcement comes with the news that Toyota is partnering with EDF Energy to make the PHVs part of EDF's company fleet. The vehicles will be driven by EDF Energy employees and evaluated in real-world conditions. Electric company employees have all of the fun.

The PHVs, which is essentially a modified Toyota Prius, can be charged at a standard electrical outlet or any of the 40 charging posts in the U.K. EDF Energy plans to help expand the network of charging posts in the coming months. Supplemented by the periodic charges, the Toyota PHVs will be able to travel farther on electric-only power, eliminating the use of the gasoline engine completely for short trips. Toyota is claiming that for trip less than 25km (15 miles), the PHVs will use roughly 60 percent less fuel than the people's champion of green, the standard Toyota Prius Hybrid.

The test is currently U.K. only, but with the American public clamoring for ever-thriftier vehicles, there's little doubt that the tech will eventually be seen on American roads. Hopefully, by then the EPA will have figured out how to evaluate the fuel economy of such unconventional vehicles.