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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 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.


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