Once the sales of Toyota's new Prius Plug-in begin in the first half of next year, it will cost less than £31,000. This price does not consider the Government funding through the Ultra-Low Carbon Vehicle grant scheme, which could decrease the cost to customers by as much as £5,000. The company has qualified for the grant by meeting the requirements for plug-in cars.
Although the price is competitive compared to the latest electric vehicles in the market, the Prius Plug-in Hybrid provides a more flexible performance with its powertrain which combines an electric motor, a petrol engine and a lithium-ion battery.
The system makes it possible for drivers to run more than 14 miles in EV mode with the power from the hybrid battery. Afterwards, the vehicle will seamlessly change to power from its full hybrid system, including the 1.8-litre VVT-i petrol engine. In short, the driver will not have to suffer "range anxiety" on how long the vehicle can cover. The efficiency and convenience of Prius Plug-in Hybrid extends to the system for recharging the lithium-ion battery.
Uncomplicated connection to domestic or workplace electricity supply, or a roadside charging point, will give a full recharge in an hour and a half. Prior to official homologation, the company predicts Prius Plug-in Hybrid will emit 49g/km of CO2 and achieve 134.5mpg in combined cycle fuel economy.
This enhances its position as a strong prospect for operators of corporate fleet, as it will qualify for a Benefit-in-Kind company vehicle tax rating of just five percent for drivers, and accordingly a monthly tax burden of less than £52 (for a 40 percent taxpayer, based on the guideline vehicle price).
Moreover, businesses will save on fleet costs with the lower National Insurance contributions and 100 percent write-down allowance.
The new Plugin Hybrid will be one of the most valuable and exciting Prius models so far. This is how the Toyota Lexus Fleet Services General Manager explained it. Ewan Shepherd also said that it would also bring financial advantage to the owners as well as the companies that have already bought the previous models. The Auris Hybrid for one delivers the same benefits to the Plugin model.
There are about two hundred PHEV prototypes that were tested in Europe, while twenty of those were done in London. The first findings show the Plugin’s better performance in city driving as compared with other diesel and gasoline models of the same size.
The demonstration programme held in London is actually a joint venture with EDF Energy. They monitored the schedule of battery recharging to improve the energy cost and emissions. In a joint initiative with LeasePlan Corporation N.V., Toyota assembled the programme to further promote the PHEV technology and Prius’ Plugin Hybrid to its consumers. LeasePlan has about 1.3 million vehicles under its wing.
The market launch of the new Prius Plugin Hybrid is intended to carry Toyota’s commitment for better, more efficient and environment friendly solutions. This is how Didier Leroy (Toyota Motor President) described its strong partnership with LeasePlan Corporation. He also said that there are about 3.3 million hybrids out there already. Also, they are very delighted with what LeaseBrand Corporation has brought to the brand and its consumers. And as far as sustainable energy is concerned, the new model is quite a big step for all of them.