Toyota although the leader in green cars, due to the success of its Prius, has been cautious in moving to lithium-ion plugin cars.

They have expanded on the superiority of the parallel hybrid drivetrain over a series or pure electric design.

They do have a few plug-in Priuses in field trials and may plan on eventually mass marketing such cars. And indeed are involved in a joint venture to produce lithium-ion cells.

Today however we received word from Toyota that they plan to demonstrate a new electric car at the Detroit Auto Show in January.

The release:

TORRANCE, Calif., Dec. 22 -- Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. will display a battery electric vehicle concept at the 2009 North American International Auto Show. This display marks the world debut of this concept vehicle.

The Wall Street Journal has found out the car will be a small subcompact "town" car not suited for long driving ranges, and be priced below $20,000.

Source (Toyota)