rom the Wall Street Journal:
In the last year, Toyota Home, as Toyota’s housing division is known, launched an aggressive advertising campaign to make more consumers aware of the brand, opened showrooms and hired architects to help redesign its lineup of homes — which consumers complained had more function than style.
Toyota’s aspirations as a home builder are also gaining new importance with the planned launch by 2010 of its plug-in vehicles, gas-electric hybrid cars with powerful lithium-ion batteries that drivers will need to recharge at home. The car maker is testing an electricity-monitoring system in its homes that would charge the vehicle during off-peak hours to keep utility bills low, while the car’s battery can serve as an electrical backup, powering the home during blackouts.
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