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Prius Plug-in Hybrid on the left.
Toyota hopes to sell 50,000 Prius Plug-in Hybrids per year worldwide

Toyota's Prius has been a sales monster when it comes to hybrid vehicles. In the U.S. market, Honda has tried to attack the Prius with three generations of Civic Hybrids and two generations of Insight Hybrids only to fail miserably in matching its sales success.

With newcomers like the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf putting a greater emphasis on a healthy battery-only driving range, Toyota is looking to give its Prius some additional battery power. The new Prius Plug-in Hybrid makes use of a lithium-ion battery pack in place of the old NiMH battery pack. As a result, the Prius can travel up to 14.3 miles at 53 mph on battery power alone before standard Hybrid Synergy Drive system jumps into action. 

Since the newest Prius also features a charging port, drivers can plug their Prius into a wall outlet to recharge. Toyota says that the lithium-ion battery pack can be fully topped off in an hour and a half. Most importantly, Toyota says that the Prius Plug-in Hybrid can achieve this using a standard household power outlet and doesn't require the use of an expensive dedicated charger (or the associated installation costs). 

According to preliminary numbers, the Prius Plug-in Hybrid will reach 60 mph in a leisurely 10.7 seconds and reach a top speed of 112 mph. Also noteworthy is the fact that despite the more powerful battery pack used in the plug-in variant, the vehicle is only 110 pounds heavier than the standard Prius. 

Sales will start early next year for the Prius Plug-in Hybrid, and Toyota expects to sell 50,000 units per year worldwide. Unfortunately, we do not have pricing for the vehicle, although we'll be sure to bring you those figures when they become available.



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RE: WOW a wopping 14.5 miles - STOP the presses
By quiksilvr on 9/14/2011 12:40:20 AM , Rating: -1
On average in the US, we drive 12,000 miles a year. That is about 33 miles a day. Subtract 14.5 miles from that and you get 18.5 miles. A Prius does 50 miles to the gallon. 18.5 miles a day = 6750 miles a year. That is about 130 gallons or about $500 a year saved because of this. I don't know about you, but that is pretty damn impressive.


RE: WOW a wopping 14.5 miles - STOP the presses
By mcnabney on 9/14/2011 1:01:22 AM , Rating: 2
You do know that electricity from the wall outlet isn't free, right?


RE: WOW a wopping 14.5 miles - STOP the presses
By Jedi2155 on 9/14/2011 3:43:53 AM , Rating: 2
Efficiency of a gas engine is typically 20-30% so its actually 12.3 kWH/gallon (energy equivalent). So at $0.14/kWH its $1.72/gallon.

Here is a simple calculator for you if you want to know the pure dollar savings.
http://www.sce.com/nrc/pev/index.html


By Philippine Mango on 9/14/2011 6:47:41 AM , Rating: 2
If you use the fueleconomy.gov website, input the cost per KWH of say $0.12 for an electric vehicle, it will, in parenthesis directly covert that into a gasoline cost equivalent of around $4 per gallon.


By Jedi2155 on 9/14/2011 12:42:47 PM , Rating: 2
While I believe the possibility of that, as it seems many would like to rate EV's with MPGe values that highly inflate their MPG values. Please provide a link to that source.


RE: WOW a wopping 14.5 miles - STOP the presses
By Beenthere on 9/14/11, Rating: 0
RE: WOW a wopping 14.5 miles - STOP the presses
By Samus on 9/14/2011 5:18:59 AM , Rating: 3
Philippine Mango...

Where in the hell do you live where electricity is 4 cents/kWh?

And don't say the Philippines. 4 cents? WHERE? France!?

The lowest electric rates in North America are in North Dakota at 7 cents/kWh, the national average is 12 cents/kWh, and the highest rates are on the west coast and Hawaii, which is 26 cents/kWh. The average cost of electricity in California, the largest market for the Prius, is 15.8 cents/kWh, or quadruple the cost you used as an example, making that $500 savings over the course of a year closer to $125.

So basically over a 5 year period, you save about $600 bucks owning a Prius, an ugly, expensive car with no soul. You'll be lucky to break even over a 10-year period over, say, a Toyota Matrix, a similar-sized car that costs thousands less, has better resale value, holds more stuff, and is much simpler to own and maintain.


RE: WOW a wopping 14.5 miles - STOP the presses
By lelias2k on 9/14/11, Rating: -1
RE: WOW a wopping 14.5 miles - STOP the presses
By FITCamaro on 9/14/2011 7:37:51 AM , Rating: 1
So you're defending the argument while still not knowing if the rates are even available. Brilliant.


RE: WOW a wopping 14.5 miles - STOP the presses
By Samus on 9/14/2011 9:37:12 AM , Rating: 1
SDG&E? LOL.

Having lived in San Diego for many years, I'll simplify this lack of an arguement with two words: tiered rates.

I grew a little pot one Summer in San Diego and fell into the uncomfortable 39 cent/kWh bracket.

People who charge their Prius on a daily basis will feel the same uncomfort. At 39 cents a killowatt hour, your basically paying 13 dollars a gallon equivilent for gas.

At least according to the EPA's 12 cents/kWh=1 gallon @ $4.00 bullcrap rule.

Listen, there is no defending this ridiculous car. Your paying more for something that will cost you more to operate and maintain, looking like a tool while doing so. Is there even a need to additionally detail how harmful the Prius is to the environment to assemble? It's gotten better since they finally scrapped the idea of putting a dozen lead-acid batteries under the trunk, but dangerous materials are still sourced and shipped all around the world to make this thing, then finally ship it HERE, where hopefully those materials will be recycled properly when the thing is junked...


By Keeir on 9/14/2011 2:42:20 PM , Rating: 2
Hello Friend,

Its true that San Diego charges a pretty fortune for EV charging. They will let you isolate the EV from the rest of your bill however.
http://www.sdge.com/environment/cleantransportatio...

However, there are utilities in the Lower 48 states that are chargins 6, 7, 8 cents per kWh for offpeak electric charging.

Even at the 16.7 cents per kWh, an electric vechiles will travel a mile on ~5.6 cents. Even a Prius requires ~8 cents of gasoline per mile.

Now you can rant and rave... or you could realize that for many people in this country at the 6, 7, 8 cent rates stand to save ~4-5 cents per mile traveled... which works out to be 4,000-5,000 over a fairly short time frame.


RE: WOW a wopping 14.5 miles - STOP the presses
By Sahrin on 9/14/2011 8:52:32 AM , Rating: 2
The Matrix has terrible resale value. The Prius's resale is dependent on the price of gas; but seeing as how it hasn't dipped below $3.00 in 8 months (despite the fact that demand is down) the resale market for a Prius is quite strong. I would gladly sell a Prius over a Matrix any day.


RE: WOW a wopping 14.5 miles - STOP the presses
By Samus on 9/14/2011 9:49:19 AM , Rating: 2
The Prius resale ratio favors it as its mileage increases (ironically...) but the fact of the matter is, today, with 50,001 miles, a 2007 Matrix has lost 32% of its initial value, and a 2007 Prius has lost 36% of its initial value. At 100,000 miles, a 2007 Matrix has lost 45% of its initial value, and a 2007 Prius has lost 44% of its initial value, basically a wash.

All figures for the base model of each car in consume resale value, not dealer trade-in (although dealers appear to favor the Prius)

http://www.motortrend.com/cars/2007/toyota/matrix/...

http://www.automobilemag.com/am/99/2007/toyota/pri...

Don't forget to look at the Ownership Cost charts. Depriciation isn't the only area the Prius loses in. Higher maintenance costs, more expensive to repair, and more expensive to insure.


RE: WOW a wopping 14.5 miles - STOP the presses
By CK804 on 9/14/2011 10:20:57 AM , Rating: 2
Higher maintenance costs? Please explain. The Prius uses AC traction motors, which means there are no brushes to replace. There's also no transmission fluid to change because there's no mechanical transmission. Brake pads are expected to last well over 100,000 miles because the car primarily uses dynamic (regenerative) braking.


RE: WOW a wopping 14.5 miles - STOP the presses
By Samus on 9/14/11, Rating: 0
By priuspete on 9/15/2011 1:33:42 AM , Rating: 2
According to truedelta.com, a 2006 Prius typically needed 1/3 fewer repair trips than a 2006 Civic and 70% fewer than a 2007 VW GTI. Problem-prone components such as starter motors, alternators and transmissions are replaced in the Prius with the highly reliable synergy drive motor-generator-transaxle. My 2004 has lots of brake pad left after 120,000 miles. A Prius taxi has logged 1 million km (the traction battery lasted 700,000 km).

Toyota did a recall to replace the inverter coolant pump on the 2004-2006 Prius. Even though the warranty had long expired, they replaced the pump with an improved design at no cost. They do care about customer satisfaction.

The Prius may not meet your needs or your tastes, but a million buyers have found it to be a practical, reliable and cost-effective vehicle. Its successful introduction by Toyota has spurred all car companies to re-examine how to make vehicle drive trains more efficient. I expect the plug-in Prius will also work well for many buyers. The Prius is not a stupid choice.


By Sahrin on 10/13/2011 11:42:32 AM , Rating: 2
>All figures for the base model of each car in consume resale value, not dealer trade-in (although dealers appear to favor the Prius)

I'm talking about the wholesale market; where the price originates. Retail prices have distorting influences caused by sales efforts; wholesale prices reflect the market price for a car at a given time. (Yes, I work in the auto industry and by and sell cars in the thousands - trust me, the Matrix sucks. There are times ($2/gal) when the Prius sucks as much or more, but this ain't one of them.


RE: WOW a wopping 14.5 miles - STOP the presses
By Shark Tek on 9/14/2011 9:06:52 AM , Rating: 2
Are considering the factor of time?

Having to spend 5-10 minutes in a gas station filling up your car more often in a non hybrid car is something to consider too in the equation.


By Wy White Wolf on 9/14/2011 9:28:05 AM , Rating: 2
So let's fully consider the time factor. I only have to fill up once every two weeks now. The plugin will drop that to maybe once a month saving me a max of 10 minutes a month.

But then I will need to plug and unplug the thing every day I use it. so even if I only spend only 1 minute each time that costs me 2 minutes a day or 44 minutes over a 22 day work month.


By Keeir on 9/14/2011 2:11:54 PM , Rating: 2
Ouch.

Okay, Lets assume you have a car that gets 30 MPG and a fill-up is ~12 gallons. That means every 14 days you travel ~360 miles. Or ~25 miles a day. If the Prius Plug truely gives you around 14.5 miles... your daily gasoline usage should fall from ~.85 gallon to ~.21 gallon. If your current interval is ~14 days, your new interval should be around ~45 days... or yearly fill ups should reduce from 100 to ~35. Yearly times savings will be approx 5h - 10h.

Plugging/Unplugging a Hybrid should take approx. 10 seconds. Assuming you plug/unplug it 800 times a year (more than 1 trip a day on average), this should be ~2-3h a year.

Overall, its not too much of a time sink/savings... but I'd much rather take a extra few seconds a day in my garage rather than stand outside in rain, snow, humidy etc.


By Chernobyl68 on 9/14/2011 12:35:42 PM , Rating: 2
I've averaged closer to 14K a year.


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