Toyota Prius Plug-in hybrid

Toyota Prius Plug-in: your questions answered

This week, the new and ultra-efficient Toyota Prius Plug-in hybrid is launching to the UK’s reviewers, road testers and motoring writers.

We’ll be bringing you more for the event this week, and we’ll report back on the reviews as they come in so you can find out all about the car from the independent experts.

To coincide with the launch, we asked for your questions about the car, and we can now bring you the answers.

Read on for all you need to know about the Prius Plug-in – and don’t forget to leave us a comment below if your question hasn’t been answered yet.

Toyota Prius Plug-in hybrid

How does the Prius Plug-in work?
The Prius Plug-in is what we term a PHEV, or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. It uses a development of Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive system that combines a rechargeable lithium-ion battery with a 1.8-litre petrol engine to deliver smooth, refined and ultra-efficient driving and incredible economy.

The lithium-ion battery means it can drive approximately 15.5 miles purely on electric power, meaning low running costs and zero emissions.

What is the range of the Prius Plug-in?
The electric-only range of the Prius Plug-in is approximately 15.5 miles, enabling typical commuter journeys to be accomplished with zero tailpipe emissions. Thanks to the hybrid powertrain’s petrol engine, Prius Plug-in is equally able to accomplish long distance trips.

Once the car has reached the limit of its EV driving range, it automatically operates in full hybrid mode, with the petrol engine coming into play. This means there is none of the concern about whether the car can reach its destination without running out of power – the ‘range anxiety’ that is typically associated with full electric vehicles.

Toyota Prius Plug-in hybridHow much does the Toyota Prius Plug-in cost?
Prices for the Toyota Prius Plug-in start at £32,895 on the road, but this falls to £27,895 with the benefit of the £5,000 Government grant available on new plug-in vehicle purchases, provided through the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).

What is the CO2 emissions figure of the Prius Plug-in?
The Prius Plug-in achieves a new low benchmark in its class with official CO2 emissions of 49g/km, way below the 100g/km threshold for UK road tax (VED).

What are the fuel consumption figures of the Prius Plug-in?
Official combined mpg figures are 78.5mpg in HV (hybrid vehicle) mode. When you drive solely in EV (electric vehicle) mode, the Prius Plug-in uses no fuel. However, official figures been calculated for EV mode using a standard testing cycle which takes the average from one run with a fully charged battery and a second run with a depleted battery.

Do I need to charge the Prius Plug-in?
Not necessarily. If the Prius Plug-in’s battery is not charged, it simply performs as a ‘standard’ Toyota hybrid vehicle, using the engine and/or the electric motor depending on the driving conditions and battery state of charge.

However, charging the battery does ensure the highest levels of efficiency and zero-emissions driving, particularly in stop-start or low-speed conditions, so we recommend regular charging.

What happens when the EV battery on Prius Plug-in runs out of charge?
The car automaticlaly  switches to HV (hybrid vehicle) mode and runs as a standard Toyota Hybrid, just like the normal Prius.

What do I need to charge the Toyota Prius Plug-in?
The Prius Plug-in comes with a dedicated charging cable, which fits under the boot floor. This plugs into a standard domestic socket, but we recommend an isolated charge point is installed to protect against overloading your home’s system. Toyota’s recommended supplier of electric car charging points in British Gas, who will provide a free site survey to our customers. British Gas says it can supply a charging point for as little as £375 – find out more on the Toyota website. Buyers are not obliged to use British Gas.

How long does it take to fully recharge the Prius Plug-in?
Around 1.5 hours using a standard 240V electrical supply.

How long is the EV battery warranty?
The EV battery has a warranty of eight years. The Prius Plug-in benefits from the standard five-year Toyota Warranty.

What is the battery life of the Prius Plug-in?
The lithium-ion battery is designed to last the life of the vehicle.

How much heavier is the battery pack from the regular Prius?
The Lithium-ion battery in the Prius Plug-in weighs 80kg, the Nickel-Metal Hydride battery of the Prius weighs 42kg.

Does the EV battery take away space from the passenger compartment or luggage capacity?
Luggage capacity above the floor is only 2 litres smaller in the Prius Plug-in than in Prius, at 443 litres (compared with 446 litres for Prius). Below the floor, space is smaller – 40.5 litres vs. 48 litres. Total load volume increases to 1,120 litres when the rear seats are folded.

These figures were measured by the VDA method.

What is the fuel tank capacity of the Prius Plug-in?
45 litres.

Toyota Prius Plug-in hybrid drivingWhat is the 0-62mph time of the Toyota Prius Plug-in?
The 0-62mph time is 11.4 seconds. Top speed is 112mph.

How does the Prius Plug-in compare with the Prius in terms of performance?
The top speeds of the two cars are the same, at 112mph. The Prius has a 0-62mph time of 10.4 seconds, one second quicker than the Prius Plug-in.

Does the Prius Plug-in have a spare wheel?
The Prius Plug-in comes with a tyre repair kit to save weight.

Is DAB digital radio available on the Prius Plug-in?
DAB digital radio is available as a dealer-fit option.

Does the Prius Plug-in have Adaptive Cruise Control?
The Prius Plug-in has cruise control as standard. Adaptive Cruise Control is not available.

Toyota Prius Plug-in hybrid interiorCan I pre-heat the interior of the Prius Plug-in before using it?
Pre-heating is not available on Prius Plug-in. This is because the car’s air conditioning is coordinated with the standard front seat heaters. This enables the system to reach a comfortable temperature for the driver and passenger more quickly and effectively, further improving efficiency.

When does the Prius Plug-in go on sale?
The Toyota Prius Plug-in is arriving in UK showrooms now (July 2012).

How can I book a test drive?
You can book a test drive in the Toyota Prius Plug-in on the Toyota UK website.

How can I read a brochure for the Toyota Prius Plug-in?
You can read the online eBrochure or order a paper brochure on the Toyota website, or find out more about the car here.

Comments (162)

  1. How do we change the “now playing” on our DAB radio, we are listening to one station but it tells us the now playing off of heart FM!?

    1. Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch. If you could please provide a VIN number, we will be able to assist you further.


  2. Hi there! Once the hybrid battery is fully charged while driving, does the EV battery start to charge after while braking or going downhill?
    Thank you,

  3. I have a 2016 Prius, I used to get 12.4 miles on a full overnight charge, this has now dropped to 10.6, I thought it might be due to the cold weather but it is exactly 10.6 whatever the weather now. Can I increase the full charge back to 12+ miles, if so how.

    1. Hi Robert,
      Thanks for getting in touch. The EV range shown in the Multi-information Display of a Prius Plug-in features a learning function that takes into account an adjustment based on electric mileage achieved from previous EV journeys. The system then utilizes this information and remaining battery charge to calculate the EV driving range. Therefore, the EV driving range may increase or decrease depending on how you operate the vehicle eg. driving patterns, driving style, driving conditions etc.
      Please also note that the system anticipates an increase in energy consumption when the A/C is turned ON (both heating and cooling), and decreases the EV driving range by 10%.
      Initial vehicle setting, when the car comes out of the factory, shows an EV Range of 12.5 – 14.5 miles so that the figures shown in the display become as close as possible to the actual driving situation. The system then analyses the driving pattern results, adjusts the driving range accordingly. Therefore, the driving range shown may increase or decrease depending on the previous driving patterns, driving style, driving conditions and so on.
      Hope this helps.

  4. I’m thinking of buying a secondhand 2013 Prius Plug-in. Can you confirm that the parts to fit a tow bar mounted bike rack are still available? Also whether I can fit roof bars and a roof box for occasional holiday trips where I need more luggage space.

    1. Hi Duncan,
      Thanks for getting in touch. Unfortunately, there are no towing hitches available on this model.
      With regards to a roof rack, you would need to purchase product PZ403-G0612-GA which can be used with a bike holder (PZ4AP-PR591-B0) (one bike).
      We have a Thule Pacific 200 luggage box – Silver Grey – Size : 175x82x45 cm, Load capacity : 50 kg (PW308-00000)
      Hope this helps.

      1. Elsewhere on this page in 2014 you told someone there is a “Prius specific bracket that performs the same function as the tow bar, (but only as far as carrying bikes is concerned as Prius Plug-in cannot tow).”

        Is this still available?

    2. I have the Yakima Whispbar and the Yakima front loader on my 2014 Prius Plug in – roof rack. Am looking at different tow bar racks as well. When I bought my used Plug-in it was installed. Wish I could upload a pic

      1. Hi Dee, thanks for your comment. I’ve since found that Curt – an american company – produce a tow hitch for the plug-in prius, which you can buy on ebay. Not sure if it’s legal in UK though.

  5. Hello,When I buy my Toyota Prius plug in I just want to plug it into an ordinary 3 pin socket in the garage without paying anyone for some fancy nonsense that is not needed,can I do that.
    Many thanks

    1. Hi David,
      Thanks for getting in touch with us. Yes, the car does come with an ordinary 3 pin plug cable for charging, so a regular wall socket can be used. You would also be eligible for an OLEV grant, if this is the 1st registration of the car to install a home charge unit for free, as long as there property meets the terms and conditions, this is a faster more efficient way to charge the car. Hope this helps.

  6. Can a 2013 Prius be converted into a Plug-in Prius after market, by adding an official plug and swapping the battery for lithium ion? I have been looking for this for a while, and find it really strange that there are 3 entire companies built around providing this functionality after market, but I can’t find any reference to Toyota offering it. I’d really prefer an official conversion if at all possible.

    Alternatively, if no official conversion is possible, is the physical battery size for both the same and swapping? If, for example, I got an unofficial plug without buying an unofficial battery, can I swap for an official battery that’s lithium ion and expect it to work? I think all options should be after market accessible.

    1. Hi there,
      Thanks for getting in contact. Unfortunately, there is no official Toyota solution. With that, we wouldn’t be able to comment on 3rd party solutions and therefore wouldn’t recommend changing the Prius from it’s original spec.

  7. I have had the plugin prius for nearly five years and the charger cable is now faulty – a replacement costs £650 – this is excessive and the cable should have lasted at least ten years

    1. Hi Thomas,
      Thanks for getting in touch. ECU constantly monitors the state of charge within the vehicle and therefore never lets the car run out of charge. A battery should never be below minimum recommended and above maximum. Our technical department have advised that there is no definitive answer to this and when charging it will make sure there are enough levels for the electric option to work rather than the engine.

  8. I am very disappointed to discover a dreadful parts shortage [Plug-in Prius]. I broke my rear light, and the local dealer announced that there were ‘none in Europe’. It took three weeks to arrive from Japan. That is not good enough. Cars must be off the road for trivial bumps?

  9. I have just bought a Prius Plug In but can find no information how I charge my car? Where do I go to charge the car. Do I have to register with a company, and if so who ?

    The information on line is very poor

    1. Hello Roy
      Thanks for your post and hope you are pleased with your Prius Plug-in. You do not mention whether you have purchased the car new or second hand but for the basis of the reply below we are assuming second hand.
      In terms of charging, we have a chapter in the vehicle handbook (P87 onwards) about the equipment supplied and how to charge the car from an external source. If for any reason you do not have one of these then they can be purchased at the parts department at your local Toyota dealer, all of whom will have a charging point and can give you a demonstration if required. In terms of charging from your home then you can visit British Gas (a preferred supplier) who can advise about setting up a dedicated charging point in your home.
      This link will take you to their web page.
      Finally we would recommend that if you know the charging points in your area you are likely to use then make a note of the manufacturer of the post so you can visit their website to find out about access and cables that they use. (This can sometimes vary). Again your local dealer may be able to help you with further information regarding this.
      Hope this helps clarify for now but let us know if you have any further questions.

  10. Hello
    I understand that the Toyota PIP uses 16 amp charging point. However many of the charging points are 32 amps in the country. Will using a 32 amp charging point for PIP cause any damage to the system?

    1. Hi Jay
      Thanks for your post.
      Just to let you know we are looking into this with our technical team but it will be Monday before we can confirm the details.

  11. Just how can Toyota boast about ‘zero’ emissions when the charging current comes from our UK power stations? Many are coal and gas fired, windmills being almost useless.

    How about being honest and putting in your adverts the weight of CO2 produced by a power station per kilowatt/BHP ? Now that would be most interesting and enlightening and could even encourage more sales,

    1. Hi John
      Thanks for your post.
      We would only ever boast about zero emissions during use as hybrid and Plug-in hybrid cars can run solely on electric power at lower speed. Good point about the power stations however quoting a figure would depend on where in the country the car was charged and how power for that area is sourced. Nevertheless this is something to be considered for the future. We have always been honest and open about our hybrid technology and agree that the ultimate eco car has to be hydrogen whose only emissions are water. Hybrid is at least a technology we can use now that does address the issue of emissions including those that affect human health.
      Thank you again for your feedback and we do appreciate your comments.

  12. On June 4th you wrote:
    “We are currently reviewing our position and are looking to absorb the price for our customers. Keep your eye out for a bulletin from us in the next few weeks.”
    That’s 10 weeks. Where would I look for such a bulletin, please?
    David Gatehouse

    1. Hi David. Government funding support for the existing free charge-point offer underwent a review in June 2014. Following this review, the terms and conditions of the funding were changed, resulting in the the free friends & family wall charger offer by British Gas no longer being available. We have now entered into a partnership with British Gas and will jointly be funding a Free Wall Charger Offer for new Prius Plug-in customers.

      As with the previous British Gas offer, the following is included:
      · A free 16 Amp data-enabled charging point with a recommended connector that’s suitable to your vehicle, providing more convenient charging at home
      · Home suitability survey and data enabled charging point installation. Survey and installation by a fully trained
      British Gas electrician on the same day for the customers
      · Installation of a dedicated circuit, separate from a home electrical circuit, allowing for charging that won’t affect home electrics
      · Earthing connection for ensured safety, supplied as standard and in line with industry guidelines
      · Three year data enabled charging point warranty and three year parts and labour warranty

      In order for you to apply for this offer you will need to contact British Gas on 0800 9808175 or at their website vehicles and quote their Vehicle Stock Number.

      We hope this helps. If you have any more questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Thanks.

  13. I cannot find the answer to the following question: “How much quicker does the Prius Plug-In charge from the 16 amp charging point installed (NO LONGER FREE) by British Gas, compared with the normal 13 amp home socket?”
    Since British Gas is now charging for this (see their site) and most of your replies seem to suggest that the battery always charges at the same rate, it would seem an important point. Toyota Dealers do not know the answer.

    1. Hi David,

      Thanks for getting in touch with us. The Prius Plug-In has a charge time of 90 minutes so we did not feel it was necessary to add the fast charge feature. The 13 and 16 amp charge points charge the car in the same amount of time because the maximum draw of the battery is 13 amps, it does fluctuate to lower figures as well. It may seem then that the 16 amp charge station is not a relevant product. This is not the case. The 16 amp charge station is much more convenient than the 13 amp home socket. It also allows flexibility for any future plug-in or EV models you may own that have different charge rates. You are correct in saying that the British Gas installed charge point is no longer free. The government has reviewed it’s policy and changed it’s guidelines with regards to qualifying for the free charge point. We are currently reviewing our position and are looking to absorb the price for our customers. Keep your eye out for a bulletin from us in the next few weeks. Hope this helps. If you have any more questions please let us know. Thanks

    1. Hi Neil
      Thanks for your post regarding the Prius.
      You can add DAB to Prius in two ways, firstly if you spec the car with Touch & Go Pro or secondly by purchasing an accessory kit which can be supplied via the parts department at your local Toyota dealer (part number GBNGA-DABTO-Y1).
      Hope this helps but let us know if you have any other questions.

      1. Hello
        Thanks for the reply. I cant see touch and go pro as an option for the plug in.
        Do you have to ask the dealership?


        1. Hi Neil
          Thanks for your post.
          We have rechecked this with the product team and have to apologise as there was an error in our last reply. Touch & Go Pro is not available as an option on Prius Plug-in. Therefore to obtain digitial radio would require the accessory item we mentioned in our previous reply.
          We apologise for any inconvenience caused and hope this has helped clarify.

  14. We have had our Plugin for almost 2 years and are generally delighted with it, just the common complaints about the sat nav hud etc etc. When we were ordering the car from Bentleys in Warrington the Sales team mentioned that they were under the impression that Toyota were developing a battery for the next generation Plugin that would provide many more miles than the 15 or so capable at present. They also said that the new battery would be available as an uprgade to the first generation Plugin. Is there any upto date information on this please?

    Also, we too are interested in the charging point cable. IKEA are installing charging points nationwide at their stores but have not included a 13amp supply connection at Warrington so we cant use the facility!

    1. Anne and John,
      Thank you for taking the time to contact us.
      No details have yet been released regarding any replacement for Prius Plug-in hybrid.
      However, it is fair to say that when you look back over the generations of Toyota Prius, each time a new model has been introduced, the hybrid system has been more efficient than the system it replaces, a natural progression of the technology moving forward.

      If you could confirm the type of charging point IKEA use, we’ll be able to advise the correct cable. We suspect they are using the Mennekes (also known as IEC62196) type charging socket. If this is the case you would need to purchase a charging lead with the Mennekes (IEC62196) socket for the charge post end and a J1772 type socket for the car end. Most public charging points will also require a lead that is rated at a minimum of 16 amps. We would suggest double checking the IKEA charging point to be 100% sure, we’re happy to assist once we have this information.
      Many thanks.

  15. I don’t really understand why the information isn’t being made publicly available but will however give a specific question.
    If I buy the 10A charging cable with Mennekes plug for use at public charging stations can you confirm it will work given that it has been reported that Podpoint stations will not charge with them.

    1. Hi Peter,
      Thank you for taking the time to contact us.
      We appreciate your frustration with this. Please be assured after receiving customer feedback, we are currently investigating this issue.
      The engineering team in Europe are currently looking at feedback from customers that the genuine Mennekes cable is not compatible with some public charging points in the UK. Until this investigation has been completed, we are working with our colleagues in parts logistics to ensure that no further orders are processed or cables held in stock are sold.
      We would like to emphasise that this issue does not in any way affect the ability to charge your vehicle at home using a conventional 3 plug connection as provided with the car, or the British Gas-installed home charging point. We will issue a further bulletin to dealers as soon as we have the full picture, and we’ll update you on the situation as soon as we can.
      Thank you for your patience – hope that answers your question.

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