Energy provider EDF and Toyota have formed a technology partnership to evaluate Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles.

Energy provider EDF and Toyota have formed a technology partnership to evaluate Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles (PHV) in Europe.

Under the joint agreement, a small number of PHVs will be integrated into EDF's fleet and will be tested on public roads in France under every-day driving conditions.

Road trials of the PHV will commence in France in the autumn and may be expanded to other European countries in the future.

Toyota’s PHV system combines a gasoline engine with an electric motor and a battery which can be charged in two ways: either whilst the vehicle is driving and by recovering energy otherwise lost during braking, or by connecting the vehicle to an electric supply source at home, work or at a public charging station.

For short journeys, a PHV would rely more on electric power. For longer distances, it would switch to a combined electric/gasoline mode.

EDF and Toyota have also developed a charging and invoicing system, which each of the test vehicles are equipped with. This system is compatible with a new generation of public charging stations, which aim to make electric power more accessible on public roads and car parks.