The All New Prius Plug-In Hybrid Vehicle
Everyone's buzzing about Plug-in Cars. So what's Toyota up to? The Prius Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle (Prius PHV). Based on the 3rd generation Prius, Prius PHV combines the proven practicality of Hybrid Synergy Drive® with compact, lightweight lithium-ion batteries to extend its fully electric driving range.
What are the advantages of Prius PHV?
· The best of both worlds: electric-only driving for a maximum of approximately 13 miles, plus an anticipated 50 MPG-rated hybrid driving that totally eliminates range anxiety.
· Full recharging from a standard 110V household electric outlet in only 3 hours.
· The proven reliability of Prius HSD (Hybrid Synergy Drive®).
And now for the question on everyone's mind-timing. Prius PHV is expected to launch in 2012. How much? The price hasn't been set. Visit the upcoming vehicles page on toyota.com to receive news and updates on Prius PHV.
The idea of battery-powered cars is cool. But in reality, the weight, size, cost and durability of the large capacity batteries required to fully power Electric Vehicles (EV) are critical issues that aren't fully solved. Toyota's answer? Small lithium-ion battery packs that complement the proven Prius hybrid-electric power train.
Prius PHV's lithium-ion batteries are lightweight and compact, weighing a total of just 330 lbs. So you get useful EV power and driving range without the costs of an electric-only EV battery, while maintaining plenty of cargo space and seating for five. Also, charge time from a standard 110V household outlet is only 3 hours.
The powerful lithium-ion battery packs ensure strong, seamless acceleration up to approximately 60 mph on electric-only power.
Built to last for the life of the vehicle, Toyota's lithium-ion batteries have undergone more than three years of coordinated field testing in Japan, North America and Europe in a wide variety of climatic environments and driving conditions.
Why doesn't Prius PHV use a bigger battery? Prius PHV may not be for every driver. But, there is a significant population of drivers that travel less than 13 miles or so roundtrip per day or that have access to a standard 110V outlet both at work and at home. For these drivers, Toyota is of the belief that the smaller the battery in a PHV the better, both from a total life-cycle assessment (carbon footprint) point of view, as well as a cost point of view. Research has shown that plug-in hybrid vehicles with smaller batteries, charged frequently (every 20 miles or less) with average U.S. electricity produce less green house gas emissions than conventional hybrid vehicles. (According to a 2009 Carnegie Mellon University study).
With a fully charged battery, Prius PHV can travel a maximum of approximately 13 miles in EV mode. Range will vary based on a variety of conditions and driving styles.
On electric-only power, Prius PHV can accelerate up to approximately 60 mph. Once the EV-mode charge is depleted, it resumes normal, full-hybrid mode and operates like a regular Prius. So Prius PHV drivers will experience the same useful and reliable range that Prius drivers have come to expect.
Wouldn't a bigger battery mean greater EV range? In theory, yes. But Toyota believes many Prius drivers don't want or need the trade-off in added weight, costs and charging time. Through ongoing research, including the Prius PHV demonstration program (see below), Toyota will be able to plan future PHV and Electric Vehicles to suit an even wider group of drivers.
Prius PHV doesn't require a special charging station. With a standard household 110V electrical outlet, you can recharge it in approximately three hours. With a dedicated 220V outlet, recharging takes just one and a half hours. It's that easy. And as more cities and businesses build public and private charging stations, it will be even easier.
Prius PHV's three lithium-ion battery packs are the ideal complement to Prius' Hybrid Synergy Drive® (HSD).
The technology allows Toyota to offer:
Prius PHV's three lithium-ion battery packs are the ideal complement to Prius' Hybrid Synergy Drive® (HSD). The packs supply electric power to take Prius PHV up to approximately 60 mph, for an EV-mode driving range of a maximum of approximately 13 miles. Once the packs are depleted, Prius PHV operates like a regular Prius, using its hybrid mode to optimize efficiency.
It's important to understand that fuel consumption and EV range may vary widely. Factors such as road conditions, traffic, vehicle conditions, installed equipment, load, and the number of passengers will greatly impact both the range of Prius PHV's EV mode and its overall fuel efficiency.
Prius PHV's three lithium-ion battery packs weigh a combined 330 lb. Pack one and pack two operate in tandem with the main battery pack. When pack one's battery charge is depleted, it disconnects from the circuit and pack two engages to supply electrical energy to the driveline. When pack two is depleted, it disconnects from the circuit and the vehicle operates like a traditional hybrid. Pack one and pack two will not reengage in tandem with the main battery pack until the vehicle is plugged in and charged.
Prius PHV is equipped with three battery-cooling blowers, one for each of the three battery packs. Each battery pack also has an exclusive intake air duct. One cooling blower cools the DC/DC converter.
Built to last for the life of the vehicle, Toyota's lithium-ion batteries have undergone more than three years of coordinated field testing in a wide variety of climatic environments and driving conditions in Japan, North America and Europe.