Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid revealed at 2009 LA Auto Show

Article by Christian A., on December 5, 2009

Toyota Motor Corp. created a future version of the Prius and displayed it at the 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show and 2009 Tokyo Motor Show. Now Toyota has this plug-in on display at the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show. In all respects, this isn´t a Prius you have ever seen before. It has a regular engine with displacement of 1.8 liters and max power output of 97 bhp, as partnered to a permanent magnet synchronous electric motor.

With the conventional engine able to generate 97 bhp of max output, the electric motor allows for an extra 79 bhp of motive powered is gained. Aided by a lithium-ion battery, the PHEV is recorded to have attained a top speed of 62 mph (100km/hour) in electric mode. When fully charged, the car in all-electric can travel as much as 12.5 miles (20 km), which is six miles more than the current generation Prius.

Let's not get too excited yet about seeing this vehicle soon on our roads. At the moment, Toyota has set up a testing program for the PHEV but has yet to create official plans for it. As part of the program, the PHEV will arrive in the US in early 2010. The 150 units that will be shipped to the US will be placed in regional clusters with select partners. In relation to this, market/consumer analysis and technical demonstration will be started.

In a release, Irv Miller, TMS group vice president, environmental and public affairs, said that the program is a necessary first-step in preparing the society. It gives the unique opportunity to inform, educate and prepare potential customers for when the plug-in hybrid technology will be introduced.

Miller added that with this program, customers will know what to expect and assess if this technology is right for them when marketing begins.

Ten out of the 150 units will be put in Boulder, Colorado, and will be tested by Xcel Energy's SmartGridCity program. The other locations and partners will be tested as the new Prius starts to enter the US market. The PHEV will be tested in California, Washington D.C., New York, Oregon and Pennsylvania.

Toyota commenced its plug-in hybrid electric vehicle project in 2007, with road trials of a prototype vehicle conducted in France and the United Kingdom in 2008.

The 2009 LA Auto Show started on December 4 and will end on December 13, 2009. Press days were set on December 2 and 3, while the Sneak Preview Night was held on December 3, 2009. The LA Auto Show is sanctioned as an international exhibition by OICA (Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d'Automobiles, translated as International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers). It is endorsed by the Greater Los Angeles New Car Dealers Association.

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