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NEW YORK BUYS 300
HYBRID-ELECTRIC CARS

In the largest fleet transaction yet for its environmentally friendly Prius hybrid-electric car, Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., will deliver nearly 300 units to the city and state of New York.

The agreement to purchase the vehicles was just announced by Jim Press, TMS executive vice president and chief operating officer, during a breakfast address to the International Motor Press Association (IMPA) at the New York Auto Show.

"Prius, the world's first mass-produced hybrid sedan, produces up to 90 percent less harmful emissions than the average car on the road today," Press said. "In some cities, like New York, that means the exhaust coming out of the Prius is often cleaner than the air going into it."

The City of New York will buy 231 Prius hybrids for use by a variety of municipal agencies including the Department of Buildings, Parks and Recreation, the Department of Health and the Department of Transportation.

New York State's MTA NYC Transit has agreed to buy 56 vehicles and will use them for a number of programs, including bus road control, route planning and management and support operations. In addition, the State of New Jersey will purchase 33 vehicles for use by the State Central Motor Pool and the Port Authority.

Following his speech to IMPA, Press presented the keys to the city's first Prius to Lawrence G. Reuter, president of MTA NYC Transit, which is North America's largest public transit agency. It carries close to 7 million daily passengers and provides nearly one-quarter of all mass transit trips in the U.S.

Reuter, who became MTA president in 1996, has been instrumental in pursuing aggressive emission reduction and clean fuel programs for the city's mass transit needs. Under his leadership, for example, the MTA has developed a fleet of hybrid-electric buses for use on city streets and converted to ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel for its fleet of 4,400 buses, years in advance of federal regulations.

"It is our goal to make our fleet of buses and support vehicles the cleanest, most efficient big-city fleet in the world and the acquisition of the Toyota Prius is yet another step towards achieving that goal," Reuter said.

Prius is a technological breakthrough in combining an efficient, powerful gasoline engine and a clean, quiet electric motor. It automatically switches between the gasoline engine and electric motor, depending on driving needs and is ideal for city use.

Configured as a roomy five-passenger sedan, Prius has an EPA fuel economy rating of 52 mpg in the city and 45 mpg on the highway. It also is certified as a super ultra low emission vehicle.

Prius went on sale in the U.S. last summer. Since then, more than 9,000 units have sold or leased to retail and fleet customers. Toyota expects to sell approximately 12,000 a year.

Written by: Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A.


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