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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: ??
By Solandri on 9/14/2011 1:34:54 PM , Rating: 2
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
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.

"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive

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