Prius Plug-in Hybrid’s are headed this way
The end of 2009 saw some important milestones in the development of our Prius Plug-in Hybrids (PHV).
We had the launch in Japan of the next phase of the PHV trials, and the handover of the first car for Europe to Mr Roland Ries, the Mayor of Strasbourg. The handover was organised by Etienne and Maria from the team here, in collaboration with colleagues from TMC. We had always planned to have the handover of the first PHV at the end of 2009, and by coincidence, the famous Christmas Market of Strasbourg had decided to “export” itself to Tokyo. This turned out to be a perfect match, and put the Mayor on location to receive the key for PHV that came literally straight from the plant! Though, knowing it’s from Tsutsumi, I should probably say “plants”.
The handover was a very festive affair. Between the wooden stalls of the market, the twinkling Christmas lights, the PHV was unveiled to be inside a huge snow globe. At that point, following some short speeches, Mr Uchiyamada, EVP of TMC handed over the massive car key – no chance of losing that one. Fortunately for the potential driver, this is just a symbolic key, they car itself follows a more traditional approach for starting up, but a less conventional one for fuelling.
Offering more than 20km in EV mode the PHV gives totally emission-free motoring for most of your daily journeys (assuming you charged it up with electricity from renewable sources). Furthermore, It can be charged on normal household power in less than two hours. There will be more than 190 PHVs coming to Europe over the next months, and with this number of vehicles, we will be able to gauge the actual expectations and requirements of the customer. Consequently, the future mass-production model should be well appreciated.
What are your thoughts on Plug-in hybrids?