Toyota Motor Sales de Mexico and SEMARNAT, Mexico's Ministry of Environment, have announced a joint programme to evaluate hybrid technology and its potential benefits in fighting pollution in metropolitan areas.

Toyota will loan 10 Prius hybrids to SEMARNAT for one year and the performance of the vehicles in Mexico City will be evaluated monthly basis in order to learn how hybrid technology adapts to Mexican driving conditions and what can be done to optimise it.

The vehicles will be driven by officials and technicians of SEMARNAT and other governmental agencies whose job is related to fighting pollution and maximising the usage of energy.

SEMARNAT is currently evaluating options to carry out its many nationwide tasks in a more environmentally-friendly manner by adopting "green" vehicles. The programme represents a first-of-its-kind joint venture between the Mexican government and a private company and Toyota will maintain the cars.