The new Toyota Prius Plug-in has a driving range of more than 30 miles in electric mode, double the driving range of its predecessor.
Toyota was the first to bring a plug-in hybrid vehicle to the market with the original Prius Plug-in. Now it has moved the technology forward in a second generation model which can cover double the distance – more than 30 miles – and achieve much higher speeds in all-electric, emissions-free driving.
The new Prius Plug-in is built on the same Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform as the standard, full hybrid Prius. The Prius Plug-in also benefits from a number of new technologies including a Dual Motor EV drive system and a Battery Warming system, plus two world firsts: an EV range-extending solar roof and gas-injection heat pump air conditioning.
Dual Motor Drive System
The Prius Plug-in is equipped with Toyota’s first hybrid powertrain to feature a Dual Motor Drive System, increasing EV power by around 83 per cent. A highly compact, one-way gear within the transaxle enables the hybrid system generator to act as a second electric motor. This boosts EV driving power, giving better acceleration, more engaging performance and a higher maximum EV speed of 84mph.
Improved lithium-ion battery
The large-capacity lithium-ion battery, located under the rear load space, is fundamental to new Prius Plug-in’s increased EV driving range. Its capacity has been doubled from 4.4 to 8.8kW/h, yet its volume has only increased by two thirds – from 87 to 145 litres.
During charging, a new battery warming system will bring the cells up to an efficient working temperature, even when external temperatures drop as low as -20°C. This ensures battery power and efficiency are maintained at a sufficient level to minimise the impact of cold weather on the EV driving range, with full power available from start-off.
Faster battery charging
The increase in maximum power from 2.0 to 3.3kW means the battery can be fully charged up to 65 per cent more quickly – in two hours when using the Type II Mode III Mennekes connector, or three hours 10 minutes using a standard household plug socket.
Gas-injection heat pump air conditioning
A new gas-injection heat pump powers the air conditioning, a world-first technology that contributes to Prius Plug-in’s greater efficiency. It can heat the cabin without starting the engine, even when outside temperatures are at -10°C, minimising the impact on fuel consumption and EV driving range.
World-first EV range-extending solar panel roof
Developing a technology first seen on the Toyota Auris HSD concept in 2010, the roof can be fitted with a large solar panel to generate electricity to charge the hybrid battery. When the vehicle is parked (but not plugged in to a charging socket), the solar roof charges an intermediate solar battery. When this is fully charged, it will deliver a pumping charge to the main hybrid battery.
UK model range and pricing
The new Prius Plug-in is available in the UK in two specifications – Business Edition Plus and Excel.
The solar roof system can be specified as an option for the Business Edition Plus model.
The new Prius Plug-in has on-the-road prices of £34,895 for the Business Edition Plus model (£36,395 with the solar roof option) and £37,095 for the Excel. Customers buying a new Prius Plug-in can take advantage of the UK Government’s plug-in car grant, which provides £2,500 towards the vehicle purchase cost.
In common with all new Toyota vehicles, Prius Plug-in is protected by a five-year/100,000-mile warranty.