Europeâ€™s first hybrid mainstream production car will be built in the UK, Toyota has announced.
The car maker revealed its plans ahead of the Frankfurt Motor Show this week as it unveiled the new Auris HSD (Hybrid Synergy Drive) Full Hybrid Concept model.
Welcoming the news, the Government’s Business Secretary Lord Mandelson, said it â€œbrings the vision of making the UK the best place in the world to develop low carbon vehicles a step closer.â€
â€˜Full Hybridâ€™ means the car can be driven on petrol engine alone, electric motor alone or combination of both.
The car, which produces sub-100g/km CO2 emissions and can accelerate from 0 to 62mph in around 10 seconds, will be built at Toyotaâ€™s Burnaston factory, near Derby.
Sales are scheduled to start during the second half of 2010.
In addition to petrol-electric hybrid technology, the car also uses solar energy harnessed from solar panels covering the roof and installed on the dashboard to power ventilation and in-car entertainment features such as mobile phones and portable music players.
Eventually Toyota says it will introduce solar powered recharging of the hybrid battery.
Further energy-saving measures include the use of LED technology for the front and rear lights.