TOKYO (Bloomberg) -- Suzuki Motor Corp., Japan's second- largest minicar maker, plans to introduce a plug-in hybrid version of its Swift compact car using batteries supplied by Sanyo Electric Co., the automaker said.
Suzuki dealerships in Japan will test 60 units of the car in the second half of this year, the company said. The vehicle runs 15 km (9.3 miles) on a fully charged battery and will have a 660cc engine to generate electricity, Suzuki said, without saying when or where the car may go on sale.
The carmaker follows Toyota Motor Corp. and General Motors Co. in announcing plans to sell hybrid vehicles that can be recharged at household electrical outlets. Suzuki formed an alliance with Volkswagen AG in December that will include cooperation on hybrid and electric cars, and chairman Osamu Suzuki said in January his company planned to introduce electric vehicles in Japan.
Suzuki displayed the Swift plug-in hybrid at the Tokyo Motor Show in October and the Geneva show in March.
Volkswagen AG, Europe's largest carmaker, agreed in December to buy a 19.9 percent stake in Suzuki for 222.5 billion yen ($2.4 billion). The two companies plan to develop hybrids and electric vehicles together under both car brands, Suzuki said in December.
Toyota, the world's biggest seller of gasoline-electric hybrid cars, plans to begin retail sales of a plug-in version of its Prius hybrid within about two years, the company said in December. The battery supplier for the car is Panasonic EV Energy Co., a venture between the automaker and Panasonic Corp.
GM plans to build as many as 60,000 Chevrolet Volt plug-in electric cars annually starting in November. The car's batteries use cells from a unit of South Korea's LG Chem Ltd.