Frankfurt motor show: Prius Plug-in trial to start next year

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The prospect of a rechargeable “plug-in” Prius has been one of the hottest topics on this blog and we know there will be many readers out there delighted to hear that Toyota is to launch a worldwide trial of just such a vehicle next year.

Announced at the Frankfurt motor show today, the Prius Plug-in Concept successfully addresses some of the main drawbacks associated with fully electric vehicles. The use of a compact and lightweight lithium-ion battery pack (in place of the nickel-metalhydride type used in the current third-generation Prius) allows the car to be driven further and faster in EV (electric vehicle) mode.

When the battery charge does run out, the petrol engine in the full hybrid powertrain automatically takes over, so there is no risk of you being left stranded. The battery can be quickly recharged by connecting the car to a domestic electricity supply or a public power point. Toyota says a full top-up will take just 90 minutes from a 230-volt supply.

Toyota researched urban motoring trends carefully before designing the car and found that across Europe most car trips cover less than 15.5 miles (25km), while in the UK 80 per cent are no longer than six miles (10km). Taking this into account, the Prius Plug-in has an EV range of 12.5 miles (20km), at speeds up to 62mph (100km/h).

There is also a big impact on emissions performance: in EV mode, of course, there are no harmful emissions, while Toyota is aiming for an overall CO2 figure of less than 60g/km.

Early next year 500 Prius Plug-in cars will be leased to customers around the world, including here in Europe. The official website of this global demonstration programme is priusphv.com. Toyota will monitor both performance and the public’s response to help determine the car’s future market potential.

Comments (11)

  1. Dear sirs
    I brought a 2000 Toyota Crolla in good faith two months ago later the engine light came on we have replaced the drive belt and a new ignition the car has been on the diagnostic machine at two garages 3 times and found the car has no faults but still the engine managemet light still comes on.
    I am a pensioner and I cannot afford to keep paying out to have tests I have always brought Toyota
    My son has my old k reg car which sailed through the MOT FOR THE 17TH TIME but my Xreg causing all these problems IS IT POSSIBLE FOR ANY ONE TO TELL ME THE PROBLEM I AM DESPERATE REGARDS ROY

    1. Hi Roy,

      Sorry to hear you’ve been having some trouble. I’m not in a position to advise you on this, and I can see you’ve already approached your garage. Let me make a couple of enquiries and I’ll get back to you.

    2. Hi again Roy,

      Sorry I haven’t been able to help you out yet. I now know the right technical specialist to speak to and will do that first thing next week. Do bear with me. Thanks for your patience.

    3. Thanks for your email, Roy.
      I know you’ve given a couple of summaries of your troubles already, but would you be so kind as to email back with a little more detail as to the circumstances you were in when you started having problems? For instance, did anything else happen at the same time as your engine light coming on? Please give as much detail as you can – things like the engine temperature, vehicle speed and engine speed would be great, if you made a note of those. Thanks, Roy.

  2. Hi Martin and Neville,

    Unfortunately, at this stage we just don’t know. As soon as more details are released, we’ll be posting them here.

    Thanks for all the interest! We’re as excited as you are.

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