Toyota Receives EURELECTRIC Award for Plug-In Hybrid Vehicle Technology

17 June 2008

"Electrification of road transport is one of the last frontiers for electricity and a key to reducing oil-dependency and cutting CO2 emissions," said EURELECTRIC President Lars Josefsson as he presented on 17 June the first EURELECTRIC Award to Toyota for its work in the field of hybrid vehicle technology. Presented at the EURELECTRIC 2008 Annual Conference in Barcelona, the Award was conceived by the association which represents the electricity industry at pan-European level in order to honour the company or individual that has made the most outstanding contribution to electricity and its use.

"Energy supply security and climate change are two major interlinked challenges facing the world economy. EURELECTRIC believes that exploiting the synergies between a low-carbon electricity mix and 'intelligent electrification' in key sectors on the demand side can help to meet these challenges," said Mr Josefsson. "Toyota has triggered and accelerated the development of hybrid technology by automobile manufacturers all over the world, highlighting the benefits of driving in electric vehicle mode," he added.

Toyota launched the world's first mass-produced hybrid vehicle, the Prius, in 1997 and as of today has sold 1.5 million hybrid vehicles globally. Paul Bulteel, the former Secretary-General of EURELECTRIC, who chaired the Award panel, pointed out that "as a next step, Toyota is exploring the possibility of Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles, or PHVs, which can be charged through an electricity supply source at home. For short journeys, a PHV would rely on electric power rather than gasoline, offering significant reductions in CO2 emissions and improved fuel economy. By drawing part of their energy from the electricity grid, PHVs will allow dramatic reductions in CO2 emissions and oil-dependency. Toyota is engaged in partnership with a leading European electricity group to investigate and prepare the introduction of the plug-in hybrid vehicle," added Mr Bulteel.

After Mr Bulteel had also paid tribute to all other worldwide pioneers of the electric vehicle - researchers, manufacturers, electricity companies et al, Mr Josefsson made a call on behalf of EURELECTRIC for Europe-wide cooperation to define and implement the technical standards and infrastructure plus transparent pricing and billing procedures "so that car users can enjoy all comfort and confidence in plugging in to this exciting transport approach."

Accepting the Award on behalf of Toyota, Mr Gerald Killmann, General Manager Powertrain Design, Toyota Motor Europe, said: "We are delighted that the European Electricity Association has decided to honour Toyota with the first-ever EURELECTRIC Award. By combining an electric motor with a petrol engine, Toyota's hybrid technology delivers on key points that matter to car owners, such as lower vehicle emissions, exceptional fuel efficiency, seamless acceleration, and quiet driving. This award truly recognises the importance that hybrid technology plays in today's carbon conscious society."

EURELECTRIC is the voice of the European electricity industry. With a basic mission to promote the role of electricity in the advancement of society and contribute to the development and competitiveness of the electricity industry, the association is working to ensure a balanced framework to facilitate investments in a low-carbon, secure and competitive energy future.

EURELECTRIC Full Members are national associations from all EU Member States, official candidate countries for EU membership and other European OECD countries. A number of non-voting Affiliate Members represent the electricity industry from across the rest of Europe, in the Mediterranean basin and on other continents. Membership is completed by Associate Members drawn from the electricity sector, plus Business Associates from other sectors with stakeholder links to or interest in the electricity industry.

Some 3,500 companies within EURELECTRIC member countries serve 275 million billable customers and employ 800,000 staff across Europe. With average annual investment in plant and infrastructure totalling over €45 billion, these electricity companies today have an installed power capacity of 850GW, generating some 3,500 TWh of electricity annually, transmitted and distributed over a total surface area of 5.4 million km² to a population of 570 million people, resulting in annual turnover of some €300 billion.

Toyota Motor Europe NV/SA (TME) oversees the wholesale sales and marketing of Toyota and Lexus vehicles, parts and accessories, and Toyota's European manufacturing and engineering operations. Toyota directly and indirectly employs around 80,000 people in Europe and has invested almost €7 billion since 1990. In 2007, Toyota sold 1,238,638 Toyota and Lexus vehicles in Europe, enjoying its 11th consecutive record year of sales. For more information, go to


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