2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In UK pricing annouced

Article by Christian Andrei, on September 22, 2011

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.

Press Release

TOYOTA READIES PRIUS PLUG-IN HYBRID FOR 2012 LAUNCH

The new Prius Plug-in will cost less than £31,000 when sales start in the first half of 2012. This headline figure does not take into account Government funding through the Ultra-Low Carbon Vehicle grant scheme that could reduce the price to customer by up to £5,000: the Toyota has qualified for grant support by meeting the criteria for plug-in vehicles.

The pricing is competitive compared to the latest EV models on the market, but Prius Plug-in Hybrid offers more flexible performance, thanks to its powertrain which combines an electric motor, a lithium-ion battery and a petrol engine. This will allow drivers to cover more than 14 miles in EV mode, using power from its hybrid battery, after which the vehicle will seamlessly switch to power from its full hybrid system, including the 1.8-litre VVT-i petrol engine. This means the driver need suffer no “range anxiety” about the distance the car can cover.

The convenience and efficiency of Prius Plug-in Hybrid extends to the system for recharging the lithium-ion battery. Simple connection to workplace or domestic electricity supply, or a roadside charging point, can enable a full recharge in an hour and a half.

Prior to official homologation, Toyota predicts Prius Plug-in Hybrid will emit 49g/km of carbon dioxide and achieve 134.5mpg combined cycle fuel economy. This strengthens its position as a strong prospect for corporate fleet operators, as it will qualify for a Benefit-in-Kind company car tax rating of just five per cent for drivers, and consequently a monthly tax burden of less than £52 (for a 40 per cent tax payer, based on the guideline vehicle price). Furthermore, businesses will save on fleet costs thanks to a 100 per cent write-down allowance and lower National Insurance contributions.

Ewan Shepherd, General Manager Toyota/Lexus Fleet Services said: “Prius Plug-in Hybrid will be an exciting and valuable addition to what is already an industry-leading Toyota range that delivers significant financial benefits to companies and company car drivers with advanced and highly efficient models such as Prius and the British-built Auris Hybrid.”

The advantages of the Prius Plug-in Hybrid are being measured in real-world demonstration programmes with 200 prototype Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) in Europe – 20 of them in London. Initial data are showing how the car can achieve significantly better urban driving performance than the best-in-class diesel and petrol models of comparable size. The London demonstration, in partnership with EDF Energy, is also monitoring battery recharging patterns and how motorists can time recharging periods to make best use of the power supply in terms of cost and emissions.

Toyota partnership with LeasePlan
The intelligence gathered from the demonstration programmes is being shared with major businesses, including LeasePlan Corporation N.V., which manages around 1.3 million vehicles globally and has one of the world’s largest corporate fleet portfolios. LeasePlan, working in partnership with Toyota, will increase the exposure of Prius Plug-in Hybrid and PHEV technology to its clients.

Didier Leroy, Toyota Motor Europe President, said: “With the commercial launch of the new Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid, the partnership with LeasePlan supports our commitment to offer fleet customers a greener, more efficient mobility solution.

“Toyota has already put almost 3.3 million hybrids on the road. The introduction of Prius Plug-In Hybrid is a major step in our company’s journey towards sustainable mobility by reducing energy consumption, improving air quality and further curbing CO2 emissions. We are very satisfied to work in partnership with LeasePlan; by endorsing our technology, LeasePlan will not only help us to raise awareness and understanding, but also enable us to engage with their customer base.”

Vahid Daemi, Chairman of the Managing Board and CEO of LeasePlan Corporation N.V., added: “We are excited to enter into this new partnership. For many years we have worked with our clients on improving both operational and environmental fleet performance. It is partnerships such as these that help us continue to meet the needs of our clients and, at the same time, further support our ambitions in this area. The insights we will gain through this relationship will be valuable to our sustainable mobility approach and will further support our global GreenPlan service.”

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