Automotive News Europe is reporting that Toyota plans to put 500 of its popular Prius plug-in hybrid models on the road in Europe for testing purposes (not for everyday Joe drivers to use). One hundred and fifty of them will hit the road this year, and another 350 will be added next year. This testing phase is a lead-in to the release of a lithium-ion battery-powered pure electric vehicle to be offered in Europe in 2012.

The announcement was made during the Geneva Motor Show by Toyota Motor Europe CEO Tadashi Arashima.

Arashima added that Toyota plans to meet strict EU CO2 requirements ahead of schedule (by 2015), targeting a corporate-wide CO2 rate between 120 and 130g/km.

Source: Automotive News Europe