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School’s in session for Toyota

Japanese automaker donating 40 Prius hybrids as emergency energy source in tsunami ravaged region


July 19, 2011
by The Canadian Press

TOKYO—Toyota is lending its electric-gasoline hybrid car technology to ease power shortages in Japan’s disaster-struck northeast.

The automaker is donating emergency power supply systems used in its Prius hybrids to the Tohoku region of Japan. The system will be fitted with about 40 of the hybrid cars, which can be used to store and generate electricity because of their gas-electric motors.

Toyota will also set up a manufacturing training school in the northeast, hoping to reiterate its commitment to making cars in the region despite the crushing aftermath of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Some have feared that Toyota and other major manufacturers may move production abroad after the disaster left key suppliers in shambles and disrupted production.

The first class for 10 to 30 students will begin in April 2013.