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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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??
By Dr of crap on 9/14/2011 9:02:07 AM , Rating: 2
"...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."

Do you really think they have tried their best? Without matching or beating the mpgs of the Prius how can they compete with Toyota!




RE: ??
By Targon on 9/14/2011 10:11:40 AM , Rating: 3
Hype sells more than anything else these days, look at Apple as an example of that.


RE: ??
By drycrust3 on 9/14/2011 12:10:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Without matching or beating the mpgs of the Prius how can they compete with Toyota!

The reason Honda hasn't competed well with the Prius is because they haven't understood the market and produced a product for that market. Who are the people that buy the Prius?
My observation in New Zealand (where I live) is that the Prius is popular with taxi drivers (where leisurely acceleration is acceptable), so why hasn't Honda produced a car that taxi drivers like? Or why doesn't Honda target their hybrids to other professional drivers like couriers? Sure, couriers want a van that accelerates quicker than what a taxi driver needs, but that is a function of the power and weight of the electric motor, once the right speed is attained the additional power consumption isn't much greater than for the small motor.


RE: ??
By Dr of crap on 9/14/2011 1:14:05 PM , Rating: 2
Taxi drivers??? Maybe in New Zealand.

That is my point. Honda doesn't know their hybrid buyers. Hybrid buyers buy to save the envirionment and/or gas. If your mpg isn't as high as the other guy what is the insentive to buy you hybrid? Honda should AT LEAST have comparable mpg numbers on their hybrids, but they are below and even far below.

I don't sell or make cars and even I can see that.


RE: ??
By Solandri on 9/14/2011 1:34:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Do you really think they have tried their best? Without matching or beating the mpgs of the Prius how can they compete with Toyota!

Unfortunately, the mpg scale is inverted. The higher the mpg mileage, the less fuel you are saving for a 1 mpg improvement. e.g. Going from 25 to 29 mpg saves more fuel than going from 40 to 50 mpg. Going from 10 to 11 mpg saves almost twice as much fuel as going from 40 to 50 mpg. So really the mpg advantage of the Prius over the Hondas shouldn't matter as much as it does to most people. It's just a baseless marketing advantage for high mileage vehicles.

The EPA is attempting to correct this. If you look at the new EPA stickers, it'll list gallons per 100 miles in smaller print under mpg. That's the number you really want to be looking at to see how much fuel you'll save. Measured that way you get:

2.0 Prius
2.4 Civic hybrid
4.0 typical sedan
6.7 typical SUV

These numbers convert directly into dollars. If you spent $670 over the summer fueling your SUV, you would have spent $400 driving a sedan, $240 with a Civic hybrid, and $200 with a Prius.


RE: ??
By Spuke on 9/14/2011 3:49:37 PM , Rating: 2
l
quote:
These numbers convert directly into dollars. If you spent $670 over the summer fueling your SUV, you would have spent $400 driving a sedan, $240 with a Civic hybrid, and $200 with a Prius.
Very nice! Haven't noticed the gallons per 100 mile deal yet. I'll look next time I'm at the dealer.


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