Toyota details research plans for plug-in Prius, won't lease batteries

Earlier this year, we got word that Toyota was likely to test the waters with a plug-in version of its oh-so-trendy Prius, and now the auto maker has stepped forward and doled out a laundry list of details about the plan. Reportedly, the outfit will be delivering a single "modified Prius" to the University of California, Berkeley and University of California, Irvine for a three-year study designed to "speed up development of plug-in versions of the hybrid." The Golden Bears will be focusing on consumer behavior / lifestyles, while the Anteaters will research technical issues, such as how much juice will be sucked from the power grid when thousands of drivers plug-in their rides for the evening. On another interesting note, Toyota also mentioned that it had "no intention of leasing more expensive batteries for next-generation hybrids separate from the vehicle," which contrasts the view of several competitors (like GM) who are least mulling the idea. Unfortunately, we've no idea if the still-elusive plug-in Prius will land before / after the Volt, but we're sure folks at Toyota won't sit idly while Chevy cashes in for too long.