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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 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, 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.

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