Toyota’s Prius Plug-in Hybrid production vehicle made its world debut at the 2011 Frankfurt motor show. This is the first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) from Toyota to go on sale in the mass market. Toyota said that present consumer needs are met by its PHEV technology. According to the latest Accenture research on Plug-in electric vehicles, the perceptions are changing.
The hedging bets on the electrification of private transport imply that consumers would favor PHEVs over full EVs since they need to change only a few aspects of their driving habits and convenience levels.
The Prius Plug-in Hybrid stands for the next big milestone in Toyota’s pursuit for “sustainable mobility and the ultimate eco car.” It is the latest development from Toyota’s modular Hybrid Synergy Drive platform, which is a full hybrid technology that has a solid track record after covering more than 200 billion kilometres of driving throughout the globe.
It offers a significant expansion of the Hybrid Synergy Drive system’s capabilities as the Prius Plug-in Hybrid uses a lithium-ion battery to provide an EV driving range of around 14.3 miles (its target).
When the electric driving range is exceeded, the vehicle could then function as a conventional full hybrid with the efficiency of a standard Prius. It can be fully recharged from home in only 1.5 hours. The Prius Plug-in Hybrid has a total HSD system power output of 134bhp, with a 0-62mph acceleration time of 10.7 seconds and a top speed of 112mph.
With its EV cruising range, it offers a stunning fuel efficiency of 134.5mpg and it could achieve unprecedented CO2 figures of 49g/km. The Prius Plug-in Hybrid weighs about 1,420kg, making it just 50kg heavier than the regular Prius.
Its weight is actually comparable to that of any diesel or petrol car in its segment. Prius Plug-in Hybrid aims to meet the specific requirements of drivers who commute to urban areas. Hence, it will appeal to those who adopted the first generation Prius. It will start selling early next year primarily in Japan, the USA and Europe. It’s expected to sell around 50,000 units each year.