Toyota Motor Corp. said Tuesday it will introduce the Prius, equipped with its gasoline-electric hybrid engine, in the North American and European markets by 2000.

The company said it expects total sales of about 20,000 units a year in the two markets. The hybrid engine enables the Prius, on sale in Japan since last December, to achieve fuel economy of 28 km per liter. The engine also reduces emissions of carbon oxide, hydrocarbon and nitric oxide to about 10 percent of Japanese standards, the company said. Toyota said it plans to make adjustments to provide optimum performance in the new markets.

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