It’s All Electric – well at least it seems that way. Toyota is the latest car manufacturer to debut an electric vehicle at the Frankfurt Motor Show, albeit this time it is a Hybrid.
Toyota will put on show it’s production version of the Prius Plug-in Hybrid in Frankfurt tomorrow, although it won’t be in showrooms for around another twelve months. Expected to be available in September 2012, the price is yet to be confirmed but may be in the £25,000 region after allowing for the £5,000 grant from the government.
The key difference of the Plug-in to a standard Prius are the lithium-ion batteries, which can be recharged by plugging directly into the mains electricity system. Toyota claim that the new batteries can be charged from flat in only 90 minutes and have a countdown system to update you on the remaining charging time.
The new battery offers an extended range on a single battery charge, which means for short journeys the electric option alone can be used, and then the hybrid option enabled for longer trips. This enables the Prius Plug-in to achieve much better fuel economy. According to Toyota’s figures the Plug-in will achieve up to 128.4mpg and CO2 emissions of only 49 g/km, which is almost half the standard Prius.
With Toyota’s proven experience of developing hybrid vehicles this will be an interesting development, and one that is being followed by further hybrid vehicle solutions. Having met the criteria for the government’s grant support you could argue it provides the motorist with the best of all worlds.
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