Prius Plug-in launch – questions please!

The new Toyota Prius Plug-in hybrid is set for launch, and we’ll be covering its debut.

We want your questions about the car, so if you need to know how economical it is, how fast, or you just want to see how much room there is in the boot then let us know.

Send us your questions by using the comments box below, and we’ll do our very best to get them answered.

So get your thinking caps on, and meet us back here on Monday 23 July when we’ll be covering the official media launch. If you want to find out more about the car before then, then you can Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

And remember, the Prius Plug-in is just the latest model in the growing Prius family. It follows the original game-changing Toyota Prius five-door model, and the Prius+ seven-seat MPV, which was launched last month.

UPDATE 24/7: We have now published our post ‘Toyota Prius Plug-in: your questions answered‘ in response to this article and your comments. Take a look at the answers to your questions there, and let us know if you wish to ask anything else.

Comments (135)

  1. I have a 2013 plug in prius and I find that while it will charge fine at some of the older public charge points the newer ones seem to not get communication from the car and do not charge. I am wondering if this is a Mode 3 compatibility issue or perhaps a faulty cable ?

    1. Hi Eoghan,
      Since the charging cable is working correctly on certain charging points, we believe it is unlikely that there is a problem with the charging cable. Additionally, the Plug-in Prius charging cable features a very sophisticated safety system and should there be any abnormality, it would usually be detected. If detected, the charging cable will stop charging and the Error Warning Indicator on the cable’s CCID device will illuminate.
      Previous Generation Plug-in Prius only became available with a standard UK 3-pin plug charging cable. This charging cable hasn’t got Mode 3 capability.
      Our suggestion would be for you to contact the company who are managing the charging points you are having problems with.
      Many thanks.

      1. Thanks Ella. I do have the “Granny” cable as supplied which works fine .I also have a type2 cable which is the one for public charging points and the one I’m having trouble with. I Suppose my question before I replace that cable would be is the car itself Mode 3 compatible ?

        1. Hi there,
          Yes, the 2013 Plug-in Prius is Mode 3 compatible (with the correct lead). However, it will not charge any quicker as the car is limited to 10A. It is possible that the newer post may not allow charging at a lower rate and that’s why you are experiencing a fault. It’s likely to be the post and not your cable. However, this is relying on expertise from our specialist, it’s hard to know for sure as we can’t see your vehicle.

    1. Hi Chris,
      All of our comments go through for approval before being made public on our blog posts. We are now back in office and will investigate your query and get back to you as soon as possible. Many thanks for your patience.

    1. Hi Terry,
      Press and hold the A/C button to operate the remote air conditioning system. The system will shut off if a door is opened. The system can be stopped by pressing the A/C button twice. Please refer to Page 12 of the Prius Plug-in Brief Guide for more details, this is within the leather wallet inside the glove compartment.
      Many thanks.

      1. Thanks for that Amy. Once again my local sales crew didn’t have a clue and I found nothing about remotely controlled air con in the sales literature.
        If only I could get hold of a manual to read about exacly what’s what then it would really help.
        Sales team says, “can’t be done” except by having the car on extended drive and reading it then.
        Is there no downloadable manual that you know of?

        1. Hi Terry,
          The Owner’s Manuals are only available with the car as you’ve been advised. The Brief Guides, I referenced previously, are available as a download through the Owner’s Section of the Toyota website. The Plug-in guide is not currently displaying, I am looking to get this updated as soon as possible for you.
          Many thanks!

          1. Thank you, I’ll be keeping my eyes open. I’ve read the normal Prius guide but one can never be sure if everything’s the same for the plug in.

          2. Hi Terry,
            To let you know that the Prius Plug-in brief guide is now available on the Toyota website: You can find this under the ‘Reference Library’ section at the bottom of this page.
            Many thanks.

      2. I tried to use the AC button the remote when the car is charging using the cable provided with the car. The AC starts in the car but switches off in about 2 seconds. The required temperature set (20 C ) is not reached. The doors are closed and the car batteries are fully charged. What am I doing wrong?

        1. Hi Amit,
          Thanks for your question.
          The vehicle can only be heated if the Hybrid system coolant is hot and so the vehicle would need to have been used recently. If the vehicle interior is hot then the A/C can be used to cool it. If the vehicle has been left overnight with a low exterior temperature and the interior temperature is also below 20 C, it will not be able to warm the vehicle and so will not operate.
          We hope this helps and if you need anything further, please let us know.

  2. Could you please discuss the correct technique to apply for descending a hill/slope with or without cruise control to take advantage of regenerative braking?
    There has been much discussion on this point in States based forums with many different ideas being put forward.
    Is the correct technique described in the car manual?

    1. Hi Terry,
      Our advice is to apply the brake pedal, without using cruise control, when descending a hill to take advantage of regenerative braking. Another suggestion is to use the ‘B’ (or Braking) position on the gear shift, which has a similar effect as having your foot on the brake pedal. Regenerative braking will be effective to keep speed down, however if this is not enough the conventional brakes should be used. The ‘B’ option is explained on page 217 of the vehicle manual.
      Regarding the lights, you are correct in both aspects. The Prius Plug-in comes with LED low beam headlamps, twin LED lamps and a single QH bulb for the main beam.
      We hope this helps.

      1. Interesting, as the main suggestions from the States seems to be that the cruise control will maintain the correct speed going downhill by applying regenerative braking unless the slope is severe, in which case, the engine revs will increase to give extra braking. It is said that this happens automatically and the engine is protected from over-revving at all times. In fact almost everyone agrees that the cruise control is designed to maintain the correct speed even when going downhill by using regenerative braking but you say don’t use it!

        1. With regard to the headlamps, the phrase “led headlamps” means ALL of the headlamps by definition unless the phrase is further qualified; misleading!

        2. Hi Terry,
          As you suggest, this is very much dependant on the severity of the hill. Cruise control can maintain a constant speed downhill, however, if the hill is too steep, cruise control will no longer be able to maintain this speed and therefore you will need to use the brakes.
          With regards to the lights, we are sorry you feel this is misleading.
          Many thanks for your questions.

          1. May I respectfully suggest that your explanation of the use of cruise control and braking combinations going downhill be included in the vehicle manual. It has certainly caused considerable confusion in the States which continues to this day.

            With regard to the lights question; may I respectfully point out that it is not merely myself that feels misled, as your sales representatives at my local dealer were also completely ‘misled’ and did not know that QH bulbs were incorporated within the main beam lights. This is misrepresentation by definition and can easily be corrected with an explanatory note within the sales brochure.
            As things stand at the moment, having read ‘led headlights’ in the sales brochure I would expect all of the ‘headlights’ to be of the led variety. A simple note ‘*dip beams only’ in the sales literature would avoid any potential legal confusion in the future.
            May I also point out that when I purchased my last car, one of my reasons was because their sales literature advertised ‘xenon headlights’ when only the dip lights were in fact xenon lights. Subsequent litigation led to their sales literature being changed and I received compensation for their inadvertent misrepresentation.
            This needs addressing urgently!

          2. Thank you for your response, Terry.
            We very much appreciate your feedback and input. The content of the vehicle manual is determined by our colleagues at Toyota Europe and therefore we will feed this back to them. With regards to the LED lights description, again we will pass on your comments to our Product Marketing department.
            Thanks again for your posts.

  3. The plug in brochure says “led headlamps”. On the car I have seen at my local distributor, it seems that there are twin led lamps which are for dip only and a single normal QH bulb for main beam.

    Could you please clarify?

  4. EV Range Challenge
    One of my regular round trips- Sandy to Bedford and back- is 16.4 miles. I decided this evening to see if I could do it without petrol- in other words ev city mode avoiding the large throttle openings that make the petrol engine come on.
    The route was a mix of 30, 40 and 50 speed limits. I ran at or just below the limit to avoid holding up traffic. The headlights were on, but radio and air on off.
    Using all the economy driving techniques learned in my 3 years with a T-spirit, I managed exactly 15.5 miles before ev mode cut out. The petrol engine then cut in for a single warm up cycle, about 30 seconds, which put enough charge in the battery for me to drive the remaining 0.9 of a mile.
    The computer read 999mpg for the 15.5 miles of ev use, and fell to 964 mpg for the while,trip.
    I have to say, getting 15.5 miles does require a fairly careful driving technique. Can anyone do better?


    1. When you fully charge the car what mileage range shows up on the display please?

      Mine shows 13.3 miles (ie. not the Toyota-stated 15.5 miles).

      On a more positive note I estimate that the full charge appears to be costing me significantly less than 40 pence as against anticipated 50 pence (approx). These prices are based on Cooperative Energy 11.40 pence per kwh.

      1. Mine too shows 13.3 miles. However, I live in a small valley with hills all around and this range is seriously depleted driving uphill in EV mode! Have I made a mistake in paying a premium for a Plug-in? And I’m not convinced about the lack of ‘grid-lines’ in the rear view camera. My old 09/10 T-Spirit had them as does the new Yaris – What gives. Should I have waited for the Protection Pack to have been homologated, but maybe that has no grid-lines either.

      2. Hi DavidMG,

        The 15.5 mile EV range is an optimum figure and is dependent on driving style. The car monitors driving style in-between charges and once fully-charged, will then give you its predicted, realistic EV range. The ‘up to 15.5 miles’ figure is attainable by using eco-driving techniques. For more information on this, please see a recent blog post:

        We hope this helps, many thanks.

    1. Lead Time

      I ordered a plug-in about 3 weeks ago (early July) – just had the order confirmation for a 1st October delivery (probably). Is that the standard lead time? Seems a very long time?

      1. The delivery dates question is one that I raised on this blog but it has received no answer from Toyota.
        So, let’s look at my experience…
        March – visited dealer 1. They did supply some good secifications information in April, but didn’t contact me about placing an order until mid-July by which time dealer 2 had accepted my order.
        On 7th April visited dealer 2, told them same as I told dealer 1 as to what I wanted. In early July they said as ordered (rear parking sensors) it would be an October delivery, but I could have the car this month (July) if they obtained it from Japan without sensors and fitted the sensors at the dealership. Plan to pick up the car tomorrow.

        So recommended action plan: try two dealers and see which one “comes up with the goods”. In my case dealer 1 was far superior on supplying vehicle specification details, whilst dealer 2 was the one who could actually deliver in July.

        1. I’m a bit fed up too, I placed my order on 13th March with a projected delivery of 2nd week of July but because Toyota haven’t homolgated the options which you could order I have no delivery date and I’m thinking of hanging on now until the number plate change. Generally disappointed by the slippage though understand that’s not the dealer but Toyota itself.

          1. Hi Patrick,

            Our Centres now will be able to give customers delivery dates. You’ll be pleased to hear that homologation is complete. With regard to when you can expect to receive your new Prius Plug-in may we recommend you speak directly with your Centre:

            Many thanks.

          2. Delivery on the 18th, my “bad” for wanting the side mouldings sprayed the same colour as the car.

  5. Unless I stand corrected …….

    The Plug-in DOES NOT have a spare wheel – space-saver or otherwise – as I believe it comes complete with a ‘self-inflation’ kit!

    So on the one hand the the pre-publicity refers to a DAB Radio that’s no longer supplied and says nothing about a ‘missing’ spare wheel.

    Is this just a feature of the Plug-in or does the lastest Standard Prius have an inflation kit as well ???

    1. The standard Prius (the 5 seater model 2009-2012) does have a space-saver spare wheel & tyre.

      I guess that the removal of this from the Plug In version is compromise required by extra weight and extra space taken up by the higher capacity battery. Alternatively a money-saving thing for Toyota as in a tyre repair kit is a lot cheaper than a wheel and tyre.

      1. There was no spare if you had the “moon roof” on the 2009-12 Prius and whilst I can see that the gel and inflation compressor will work for some punctures if the tyres is totalled then you’ll need a rescue service. Having said this my last three cars have had inflation kits and I’ve never needed to use one in over 8 years!

  6. “Interesting” visit by British Gas today, didn’t actually say it was unsafe to use my existing garage socket (RCD protected) but neither did he say it would work! Didn’t know the loading the car charger would pull (had to show him the brochure). Keen for me to have a “charging station” in separate circuit but this will need a larger mains box (retrospective application of new building regs) and the new plug-in point sounds so enormous I doubt I’ll get the car past it into the garage anyhow! Actually thinking about cancelling the order 🙁

    1. I’d get a second opinion, preferably from an electrician who doesn’t sell charging stations. 😉

      1. I’ve thought about it and I’m going to plug it into the existing socket and see what happens, the wiring and circuit breakers were all assessed as “safe” so I’m taking that as it’ll be OK.

        1. I’ve been looking at this electric “safety” business.
          In my area I qualify for 60% “plugged in grant”. AFTER this 60% grant the cost is going to be…£623.00! So British Gas, fopr 4 or 5 hours work and maybe £3000 max of materials get £1557 out of the work (incl VAT) – this is for the Chargemaster option. So, looked at the normal socket option: in April Toyota said £275 from British Gas – that’s now £375. So I’ve just spoke to a local electrician : he says the normal socket is a £100 or less job normally!
          My guess is that the high British Gas prices reflect some referral big fees being paid by British Gas to Toyota – or just plain rip-off. I’m told would have been a £60 job but for 2004/05 new electrical regulations that reduced the number of electricians allowed to do installations.

          1. Hi DavidMG,
            Thank you for your question. British Gas have partnered with the Plugged in Places scheme, established by the government to provide funding for safe and affordable Electric Vehicle charging infrastructures. This venture offers the British Gas Electric Vehicle Charger Package at a reduced rate. For Plugged-in Midlands, with the 60% funding available, this package is priced from £623 including VAT, in line with your quotation. The Single Wall Box priced from £799 is a separate charging solution offered by British Gas. The Plugged in Midlands Scheme solution includes a British Gas single wall box consumer unit and installation, a Navetas Home Energy Monitor Kit, access to Plugged in Places in your region and three years Home Electrical Care. You can find out more about this package through British Gas by calling 0800 980 8175 or on
            Many thanks.

    2. I’d very much second what Bob said and get some quotes from qualified local electricians for just putting in a 13A socket on its own circuit and checking your wiring is up to snuff.

      While a dedicated charging station might make things a bit more convenient, it absolutely isn’t required, and I’m a bit unsure as to why you’d need a larger mains box unless yours lacks any spare circuits, though even then, a new consumer unit (circuit breaker) is hardly the most expensive thing in the world.

      Also, even if you decide that you do want a charge station with a tethered cable etc., there are a number of different ones out there, and even if you end up falling in love with the one charge station British Gas are selling, you might save quite a bit of money by just buying one yourself and having a qualified electrician fit it for you, though it looks like if your area is one covered by Plugged-in Places (including London under Source London etc.) you might be able to get one for a considerable discount (£390 for London), though I’m a bit unsure if that’s just the installation cost etc.


    In your press release dated 21 September 2011 you stated:-

    “The new Prius Plug-in will cost less than £31,000 when sales start in the first half of 2012. This headline figure does not take into account Government funding through the Ultra-Low Carbon Vehicle grant scheme that could reduce the price to customer by up to £5,000”

    But now the pre-grant list price is £32,895, i.e. almost £2,000 more than stated last September, can you justify that??

    Also, can Toyota expect to sell any when the grant does finish? as almost £33k for a plug-in prius is way too expensive when you can buy a standard Prius from £21,600.

    Below is a copy of what I posted in April about payback times if you buy a plug-in prius instead of a standard prius.

    So, the new plug in from £27,895, that’s a price premium of £3,485 over the current list price of the Prius T-Spirit at £24,410, so how long do you have to keep the car before you re-coup the extra cost.

    Below is a simple example, based on fully charging the plug-in once per day, 7 days per week, 365 per year and using the full 15.5 mile pure electric range per day.

    Cost of each recharge @£0.15 per kWh for 4.3 kWh = £0.64, so 15.5 miles of electric driving costs you £0.64.

    But, if you were driving 15.5 miles on petrol, at say 70 mpg, and with fuel costing say £1.35 per litre, you would would actually use 0.22 GAL or 1.00 Litre, so it would cost you £1.35.

    Therefore the cost saving per charge, and per day in this example is £1.35 – £0.64 = £0.71, i.e. you save 71p per day if you charge it every day.

    Ah, but the plugin prius costs and extra £3,485 to buy, therefore, at 71p per day, you would have to wait (3,485 / 0.71) = 4,908 days, charging every day, using the full electric range every day, before you re-coup that extra purchase cost.

    In other words, 4,908 days is more than 13 years before you actually start to save any money.

    Even charging it twice per day, i.e. charge over night, drive to work, charge at work, drive home etc, it would still take half that time, i.e. almost 7 years before you actually start to save any money.

    It does not make any sense at that extra purchase cost.

    Now if the Prius Plugin, after the £5,000 grant, was the same price as the current Prius T-Spirit, then it would make sense, and I would buy one, but not as it is priced at present.

    I would welcome other comments about this.

    1. To follow your logic through we should all buy Hyundai i10s or similar as the depreciation and 50 odd to the gallon means it’s one of the cheapest per mile. Car purchases aren’t solely about the economic costs.

    2. Hi Michael,

      Thank you for raising this query regarding Prius Plug-in pricing. Toyota (GB) PLC published indicative pricing on 21 September 2011, approximately 10 months prior to the vehicle’s official launch, based on the most accurate information available at the time. This was to give prospective customers as early an indication as possible of the target pricing for the vehicle. Over this period, the specification for Prius Plug-in has been improved to offer the best combination of features and technology expected by our customers. The final production model includes touchscreen satellite navigation (Touch and Go Plus), GreenEdge JBL audio, Smart Entry and auto rain sensors as standard; these features were optional when indicative pricing was announced in September. We published revised pricing in February 2012, which confirmed Prius Plug-in would be priced below £30,000 OTR including the Plug-in Grant, which can be found here: We aim to be as accurate as possible when announcing early pricing for vehicles and hope that this information helps clear up any confusion.

      Many thanks.

  8. What would you do?

    Option 1) I could collect my new Prius Plug-in next week but it won’t have the rubbing strips, mud flaps, DAB or parking sensors fitted because Toyota haven’t homologated the options yet. Then at some point in the future (could be weeks) it goes back to the dealer for a couple of days for everything to be fitted.

    Option 2) I only accept delivery when the car is complete as ordered which could also take weeks!

    My thinking is the dealer is very keen to get me into the car so if I go for option 2 he’s going to be “ranting” at Toyota on my behalf. The downside being I don’t get my car quite as early as I’d like. I do wonder at Toyota’s “just in time approach” and no errors as that doesn’t seem to apply to the delivery process, only the way the car is actually built! Oh and this is NOT my dealers fault they’ve been brilliant with updating me on the order progress.

    1. I’ve decided against homologation and will be having the Dealer fit my Protection Pack. Delivery now expected at the end of July. Here’s hoping the OLEV paper-work is going thro’ OK!

        1. Hi Patrick

          As per my question below, are you like me and ordered
          A plug in with a spec that had said it came with
          DAB, and now it’s an extra option.
          If so is Toyota honouring your order and installing
          DAB at no extra cost?

          1. They are asking for more money which seems reasonable as they were as mislead by the initial pre-launch information. I view it as the “risk” of early ordering.

  9. I have now driven a new white Plug-in. Nice! But even though my order’s been in for quite a while now, it’s not clear when it’ll be fulfilled. Does anyone know when deliveries will commence? Maybe shortly after Monday’s press launch?

    A nice feature seems to be a time-switch (set from the dashboard near the HH:MM function) which allows you to set the charging period: eg to make use of Economy 7 electricity overnight or maybe so as not to clash with your weekly wash!

  10. Dear David g

    You said that a DAB option has been announced for the plug in Prius. Is this a dealer fit option that can be done after ordering?

    1. According to my dealer, “partners” (read customers & dealers) demand has led them to add it on as an option. Dealer fit around £275.

      1. Hummm we ordered a plug in and the spec clearly said it would come with DAB, anyone else in the same position? If so what are your dealers doing about it, asking for more money?!!!

    2. I was led to believe that it was going to be a Dealer-Fit – hence the additional cost of 1 hour to fit.

      Mind you there’s not so much urgency in getting DAB fitted by 2015!

      Radio chiefs wanted all sets to be digital by 2015, a move the Labour Government had agreed to.

      The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has said incorporating digital radios into new models by 2015 would ‘be a challenge, but achievable’ but that still leaves tens of millions of older cars requiring conversion.

      After 2015 there is [now] likely to be a phase out period where FM, MW and digital offerings run alongside each other in order to ensure everyone has adjusted.

    3. Dear Samantha,
      We thought we’d pop you a reply regarding your recent question about DAB ratio on the Prius Plug-in.
      Following a strong request from the network, we are pleased to announce that DAB Digital Radio will now be available as a dealer–fit accessory unit on New Prius & Prius Plug-in Hybrid. For further information on pricing, fitting time, etc we suggest you speak directly with your Local Centre. [Please note: Only DAB broadcasts are supported; the tuner is not able to receive DAB+ or DMB broadcasts].
      We hope this helps, many thanks.

      1. Thanks for the reply, but we ordered this car with a
        Specification that said it had DAB as standard are we now going to be asked to pay more and Toyota not honour our order?


        1. Hi Samantha,
          Our Customer Relations team will be able to discuss this with you. They have informed me that they will look into your case and help as much as they can. Please contact them here:
          They are aware of your case already and are expecting your correspondance.
          We do hope this helps, many thanks,

        2. Would be interested to hear how you get on as I am in a similar position. My dealer is saying Toyota priced the car without DAB but the information I had said it was standard.

          1. I am in the same situation, let me know if you get any discount as my car isn’t ready yet.

  11. It is obvious from comments here, and the lack of information in the brochure I that I have received to-day, that Toyota need to specify the min and max criteria the vehicle requires for charging.
    For example can the vehicle be charged at a lower rate eg 2kw hour ( obviously for a longer period ).
    It is possible to charge at mid-day from Solar panels only, using free energy. Should the sunlight be inadeqate the system detects power draw from the national grid and closes charge down, restoring when there is adequate power from Solar panels. – Free Power.

    1. John, lovely idea that I’m keen to explore too.

      I doubt whether the car could tell whether the voltage at the charge plug is supplied from the solar panels or the grid- electrons are electrons. As far as I can tell from what I’ve read, the car will stop charging if the charge point switches off (obviously) and then resume when it comes back on (less obviously). Assuming that is the case, I think the best way forward would be to set up your house wiring with a device that switches the charge point on and off as the sun comes out and goes in. I’ve no idea if such a device is available- let us know if you find one.


      1. Thinking about it, a simple relay triggered by a small solar panel alongside the big ones on your roof should do the trick, but any such device would have to be constructed to proper electrical safety standards

        1. My Solar panel company states such a device exists. the device does not allow the car to take power from the network, only your solar panels when they are exporting.
          I have not taken the idea further yet. I have not driven a Prius, it is only worth following up if I decide the car is OK.

  12. Can someone at Toyota clear up this discrepancy:-

    The brochure that is available to download online states that the 0 to 62 mph time is 11.3 seconds.


    On the Toyota website, when you look at the performance figures under the Specification tab, the 0 to 62 mph time is 13.1 seconds.

    So, which one is correct? 11.3 or 13.1?

    Either way it is slower than the standard Prius 0 to 62 mph time of 10.4 seconds.

    1. Hi Michael

      The correct 0 – 62 MPH time is 11.3 seconds, the website is in the process of being corrected.

      I hope that helps.


      1. Phew! I’m so relieved. I have a Plug in on order, and was quite concerned at the prospect of it being so much slower than my present T-Spirit


      2. The other issue where I’ve read conflicting information is the length of the Battery guarantee- 5 or 8 years?
        I was told 8, but have since read 5, which I can’t believe as I am sure you would not wish a repeat of the outcry that occurred when the Gen3 was introduced with a 5 year guarantee

        1. Hi Peter

          The battery will come with an Eight year warranty for the Pruis Plug-in along with the standard Five years for the car and Hybrid Powertrain, apologies for any confusion.


          1. Fantastic. Thanks Richard. I’m looking forward to getting the car shortly after its delivery to the dealer on 26 July


          2. One other thing to check, Richard. The UK information quotes the fuel tank capacity as 45l, the same as for other Priora.

            The US Toyota web site says the tank is 10.6 US gallons, or 38.5 litres, but still quotes the capacity for the standard Prius as 11.9 US gallons, which is near enough the UK quoted 45l.

            Does the UK model have a different tank from its US counterpart?

            Not that this matters at all. I just posted to popularise the latin plural of Prius

      1. Adaptive Cruise Control. Not having this available is a deal breaker for some of us. The car should also be ale to pre heat the engine and pre-condition the cabin whilst connected to the charger,otherwise it looks good!

        1. Hi Peter L,
          In order to price the Prius Plug-in competitively, there is no Adaptive Cruise Control. However, Cruise Control comes as standard.
          Many thanks for your question.

  13. Considering that our local Toyota centre has said that the reason they can’t offer us a test drive and still lack a car is largely that they haven’t had a nice building-mounted EVSE (power connector) installed, I was wondering if there’s something I’m missing that prevents centres from just connecting the EVSE that comes with the car and (I think) charges at 12/13A from an ordinary plug socket in the meantime.

    I’d ask why centres haven’t had EVSEs installed ahead of time Consudering this launch was obviously anticipated, but methinks I’m less likely to get an answer to that.

    1. So far as I can see there are THREE options to charge a Plug In Prius at home (or at a Toyota dealership).

      1. Existing standard 13A 3-pin plug socket
      2. Newly installed 13A 3-pin socket – installed by British Gas @ £375
      3. Have a £799 charging unit installed by British Gas (cost reduces to £319.60 if qualify for 60% discount).

      Options 1 and 2 use the 15 foot cable supplied with the car. Option 3 might come with a dedicated cable.

      Option 1 could be ruled out on Health & Safety grounds, I believe, in some (unknown) circumstances.

      British Gas will survey a premises at relatively short notice (less than week) to discuss if option 1 is possible as opposed to needing to incur the costs of options 2 and 3.

      So, can’t see why Toyota dealerships can’t get their act together here. Maybe things are orchestrated from Toyota GB head office and that’s where the problem might be.

      The £799 option 3, if it qualifies for 60% discount has two added bonuses: 3 years whole household electricity system breakdown cover plus membership of local public car charging schemes until April 2013 (otherwise payable @, I think £24 per year).

      1. My plan is to use the standard 13amp socket in my garage unless British Gas can prove it’s not up to the electrical draw.

        1. Here’s some guidance on electric vehicle charging that I recently came across:
          ” Electrical Safety
          All electrical sockets provided for electric vehicles should be provided with a Residual Current Device (RCD) which automatically turns off the power if a problem develops. Protecting each individual socket is essential in order to prevent a fault on one vehicle disabling charging on another. Maximum protection is obtained by protecting the circuit at the distribution board, as well as protecting individual outlets. EVs will draw a relatively high current so the complete circuit should be designed assuming that a full 16 Amps may be drawn from each outlet simultaneously. ”
          Some household electrical installations(such as mine dating from 1996) already do have RCD protection.

      2. Ha! My Toyota centre had the car’s own power lead hanging out of a window, powered from a 13A socket indoors. That didn’t deter a queue of people wanting to test drive it. I set off with a half charged battery, but still got 136 MPG over a nine mile test route, and arrived back with the battery a quarter full

        1. Good to know, I’m wary of being “sold” a dedicated circuit if it isn’t really required.

          1. As a precaution I will use a plug in RCD adapter. I just happen to have a 13A 230V plug in RCD adapter in stock, bought years ago but never used (my guess cost less than £20). My electrician contact confirms that this is perfectly adequate for a socket that’s used for 1.5 hours charging at 13 amps. (Prius draws 11 amps British Gas engineeer said).

            Problem with all this electric business is trying to separate “recommendations” from “rules” and “safety”.
            With regard to “recommendations” I know that in some professions these “recommendations” can be OTT garbage concotted by “jobsworth cretins” sitting round a table trying to create work and wealth for their profession.

  14. Charging

    Anyone know how much it will cost to charge it?
    I think the battery is 4.3KWh. If it takes 90 mins to charge does that mean it needs 2.86KW per hour to charge it?
    Also what is the current required? I have just ordered one of these and had a note from Toyota about having a dedicated charging socket installed at home – which I wasn’t planning on. If 2.86Kw above is right, thats about 12 amps – so it shouldn’t blow the house elctrics up – what is the issue?

    1. Probably a bit of “ealth ‘n safety paranoia. As it’s effectively an “enhanced” standard Prius I’m not expecting to always need to charge from a completely “empty” battery at the end of the day.

    2. While my maths don’t tend to be particularly magical, if we assume that the whole 4.3 kWh is the ‘working’ charge amount that gets you 15 miles from the battery and use 14p/kWh, that gives us a cost to recharge of around 60p, so around 4p a mile.

      While I obviously don’t work for Toyota/am not an electrician, the portable EVSE (power cable) bundled with the car shouldn’t draw more than 13A. As such, aside from potential convenience, I’m pretty sure the purpose of the dedicated socket is about ensuring two things:

      1. That your electrical system can handle an high load for a longer period safely, as most appliances only draw higher amounts for pretty short periods etc.

      2. That you don’t end up with a blow fuse/tripped circuit breaker from charging the car from a socket on the same circuit as other things, as the power draw from other things in your house plugged into the same circuit, combined with the power draw from the car, could cause that circuit’s fuse to blow/the circuit breaker to trip.

      1. The actual current draw of charging using a standand 13A socket is coming in at around 2.4kw (being 2.8 kw showing on my Energy monitor less about 0.4 kw power useage when not charging). Standard 13A socket is capable of supplying about 3 kw. No problems so long as not on same circuit at same time as a high-draw appliance like a vacuum cleaner or power iron. In my case a separate circuit direct from fusebox is used so no problems.

    1. My previous firm had a Mk2 Prius converted to Plug-in in 2006. That one would do about 40 miles EV, and on the numerous times I used it, I plugged it into an ordinary wall socked via a domestic extension lead, with no worries at all (did use an RCD adaptor on the socket though) just in case.

      Also, despite the high capacity and vastly fewer resources than Toyota, they managed to leave room for the space saver spare wheel, so I was gutted when the Toyota Plug-in didn’t have this – a deal breaker for me, I’m afraid.



      1. A local electrician has told be the following:
        1. Not a good idea to run high drain appliances (*)continuously off an extension lead. (*) = as in 11amps for 1.5 hours for charging the Prius. Electrician says extension cables / leads can get warm in such circumstances.
        2. My garage has two sets of sockets that are each OK for 11amps draw for 1.5 hours – the original 1996 socket and the 2004 added socket (the second option being direct from fuse box a dedicated circuit for lawnmower etc. is the better option he said).
        3. As my fuse box already has an RCD built in (protecting all sockets except cooker and water heater) no need to use an RCD adapter – if an RCD adapter is used on a circuit already protected by an RCD there is more risk of a false-alarm tripping of the RCDs as both RCDs can conflict with each other.

        1. I forget the figures, but I used a meter and the loading was less than half what the lead was rated for (when fully unwound). It briefly drew just over half that max load for about 30 secs shortly after commencing a charge cycle.

          The lead hub had its own circuit breaker too. Although this was a much bigger battery (capacity [about 40 miles EV] – they still managed to leave room for the spare wheel!) it took 6 hours to charge from max depletion. On the first few times I charged it at home, neither the car’s own lead nor the extension felt even slightly warm at the various stages during the charging period that I felt them.

          At the office, it had a dedicated circuit.

          Regards PeteB

  15. In an ‘ordinary’ Prius the full potential of its 1.8 engine can be achieved by use of the Power button. Notwithstanding the fact that the ‘Plug-in’ is built more for economy than performance and has NO power button: Is it nevertheless going to be possible to get the same turn of speed out of a plug-in when required. I currently love the power button on my extant Prius and I’d hate to be without such a useful facility!

    PS When is the Plug-In actually going to be seen in the Show Rooms – I understand there is a problem with the £5,000 government OLEV grant?

    1. I’ve a 2009 Prius and had the same anxiety but I don’t think the Power button alters the actual engine power just reduces the amount of throttle pedal needed, holds the lower “gear” and sharpens the steering. It does make you think you are driving a different type of car though! Recently I had to floor mine in Eco mode and although I did end up burying the “go” pedal in to the floor the car still took off like a scalded cat!

    1. Are you sure that DAB is NOT supplied?

      I have a pre-launch document from May 2012 that says:
      # JBL GreenEdge premium sound system
      # DAB

      and “specification is closely aligned to New Prius HSD T Spirit grade”
      Source: Product bulletion item 14 on page 12.

      1. Definitely David, it was an error in the pre-launch information release. If you look at the option packs on the standard 2012 Prius the DAB radio function is now bundled with the technology pack (at a stupid price) so you have to have the auto park (amusing but mostly pointless) and speed sensitive cruise control with the Touch & Go Pro. On the plug-in there is only the Touch & Go plus so no DAB. My personal opinion is it is an incomprehensible deletion and I’m very disappointed that it is not even an option choice 🙁

        1. A DAB Radio Option has recently been announced for Standard and Plug-in Prius – £215 + 1 hour to fit.

          1. Pah! £474 fitted, although costly that’s actually less by a few quid than I paid for the same option on my T-Spirit almost three years ago.

  16. How much larger is the battery pack from the regular Prius, and does that take away space from the passenger compartment or luggage capacity?

    1. A pre-launch information pack of May 2012 says that:

      “Installation of the more compact battery has allowed for a loadspace deck on a par with New Prius and a load capacity of 443 litres. Under boot storage of 40.5 litres offers ample space to store the charging cable beneath the loadspace”

      Source: item 9 on page 9 of Proc=duct bulletin.
      The battery is a Lithium-Ion one (instead of NiMH on standard Prius). Lithium Ion batteries have ghreater energy capacity per volume size that NiMH batteries.

  17. What is the anticipated range also what is the battery life, prior to being changed, expected to be.

          1. The car warranty is 5 years but the battery is 8 years or 100,000 miles in both versions.

  18. Is there a ‘hold charge for later’ and ‘mountain’ mode (like on the Chevrolet Volt)?

    1. There doesn’t need to be because the Volt/Ampera is an electric car supplemented by a petrol generator and the Pruis plug-in is a petrol car with a supplementary electric system. You could argue that the Volt is “more” revolutionary but it’s range in cool/cold temps will be less than the claimed 50 miles and unless you can charge it every day the petrol system will be needed. What Car say theirs is doing 44mpg after the battery power runs out. The Prius is an evolution to get more electric use from energy recovery.

    2. Your question wasn’t answered in the new Q&A page, but I see from the PDF brochure that it does effectively have a ‘hold’ mode (there are 3 modes: hybrid, full-electric, electric-city) – presumably you could drive on the M6 in hybrid mode, then burn down the battery in EV mode within the Lake District or Yorkshire Dales. As for mountain mode, I’m sure the gas engine would kick-in if EV mode could not maintain your chosen speed when climbing up a steep hill.

      1. Hi Bob,
        Many thanks for your question.
        There is a way you can ‘hold’ the charge in the Prius Plug-in and that is by using the HV/EV driving mode. By pressing this once, and putting it into HV mode, you would use the Plug-in like a normal Prius, using the hybrid drive system and not using the electric battery. Pushing the button again will put the car into EV mode which solely uses the electric battery. The petrol engine will automatically and seamlessly engage if more power is needed.
        We hope this helps!

  19. What is the current place order to receive delivery timescale please?

    Which specifications / colours / options make delivery quicker or slower?

    1. I placed an order when the prices were released with a projected delivery of second week of this month, according to the dealer the car is “released” but there isn’t a delivery date yet. I anticipated that there would be variation ordering before the showroom launch though I’d have liked a brochure by now.
      More surprising is that my dealer says he only has 4 Prius plug-ins allocated (including the demonstrator) for the whole of this year!

      1. Toyota UK / GB seem to be running behind the planned schedule with the Plug In Prius.

        Back in May 2012 the schedule included the following:

        “Vehicle Brochure – Mid June” [none available on 8th July]

        “Customer deliveries commence w/c 9th July”

  20. First, when will it be possible to book a test drive, and second, how fast does the Prius Plug-in charge up via different kinds of power connections, and thirdly, how powerful is the on-board charger?

    1. They say 90mins for a full charge off 240 volts. I guess the onboard system works like the ordinary Prius, I’ve never needed to worry about that in my 2009 one.

      1. Yeah, I’m just wondering if that 90 minutes is based on a standard 13A plug socket, a 16A connection, or whether the onboard charger can take advantage of 32A if it’s available.

          1. I’m not really too sure what the standard prevailing home AC voltage in the US has to do with what rate the charger onboard the Prius can charge at.

        1. Julian, I picked up a brochure today, so only know what’s written in that, but it says the battery is 207.2 volts, 21.5 amp hours.

          Doing a the sums therefore suggests its capacity is 4.455 Kwh, and on that basis charging it in the quoted 90 minutes would draw 2.97Kw, or 12.4 amps at 240v.

          Like you, I’m frustrated at the lack of information in the brochure, and from my dealer’s sales staff. I’ve read elsewhere that the car can be plugged in on arrival home, but programmed to charge itself only on cheap rate overnight electricity, and that additionally it can be programmed to defrost itself and warm the interior using mains power prior to a cold morning departure. Charging the car on peak rate electricity would cancel out much of the petrol saving, and so charging on chap rate electricity, plus the cold morning defrost feature would sell the car to me more than any other, but the brochure and the dealer have no information about it, and I’ve totally failed to obtain the confirmation of this that would prompt me to place an order


          1. Here’s Britisg Gas’s web page regarding it’s involvement in electric vehicle charging systems:


            There is NO obligation to change electricity supplier.
            However not all suppliers offer off-peak rates.

            It appears that the charger supplied by British Gas @ £799 may offer the ability to be timed to switch charging on / off to use off-peak power supplies.

            An alternative to off-peak power is to find a supplier with reasonably low standard unit rates.
            Co-op energy currently charges 11.40p per kWhr. At this rate I reckon to reduce petrol costs of £1.29 per day to electricity costs of the order of £0.51 per day.

            As the Prius only appears to use about 4.5 kWhr electricity to charge this needs to be factored into any Off Peak electricity tariff – I think some suppliers charge a higher rate that 11.40p for peak electricity per kWhr so as to afford to charge a lower rate off-peak. Interestingly British Gas website appears to refer to “20 hours” of off-peak electricity.

            With regard to the £799 price quoted for the charger, in some circumstances this can qualify for a 60% discount.

          2. It’s pretty important to note that what British Gas are selling isn’t a charger at all (that’s built into the car), but rather a stupidly overpriced wall-mounted piece of EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment), essentially a permanently installed and wall-mounted cable/plug. You can buy something similar from another supplier and have a good electrician install it for a fraction of the cost.

            Alternatively you can just use the EVSE that comes with the car with a 13 Amp socket in your home, though considering the higher and more consistent current draw, it’s probably a good idea to get an electrician to put the plug you want to use on a separate circuit and check your wiring isn’t likely to have an issue with it.

          3. Further information:
            Although the battery’s total capacity is as stated above, part of it is used like the conventional hybrid battery in a normal Prius, and so a charge of its remaining “EV” capacity is only about 3 KWh. The control box on the charger lead is clearly marked that it draws a max of 10 amps, and the display in the car indicates that the charge rate is usually just under 2 KW, hence a 3 KWh charge takes around the quoted 90 mins. If the conventional hybrid bit of the battery’s capacity is depleted, the charger does also top that up, but the charge then takes longer than 90 minutes- nearer to 2 hours when I started with the ev range depleted and the hybrid battery display two thirds empty.
            2 points arising:
            10 amps is well within the capacity of a 13A socket, so my concerns about drawing current at the sockets max capacity are lessened.
            To maximise the benefit of a charge, drive the last 2 miles of your journey home in a manner that depletes the Hybrid battery.
            (just to be clear, one battery but the car manges it’s capacity in 2 chunks)

      1. If it is, then it’s good. At least, any potential customer can actually judge by experience with the car and the battery itself.

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