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Plug-In Prius cars ready for test drive

Anyone interested in test-driving a plug-in electric hybrid Toyota Prius should high-tail it to the farmers market on Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh today.

Toyota has supplied four of the cars -- three for test-driving and one for display -- plus a hybrid Highlander for test-driving.

The plug-in Prius will have a fuel efficiency as high as 100 miles per gallon but won't commercially available until 2012. The standard Prius on the market now can't be recharged from a wall outlet and gets about 50 miles per gallon.

The Japanese auto maker has dedicated 600 of the plug-in cars for a global demonstration project, with a quarter of the vehicles to be showcased in the United States.

Raleigh is only the fourth market in the country where the public has been able to see and drive the plug-in Prius, said Sherman Fantroy, Toyota's director for events and operations.

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