Toyota was the first company to offer the world Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle technology in its faithful commitment to create energy-efficient and zero-emissions vehicles. Today, with the launch of the 2nd generation Prius Plug-in Hybrid, it is taking a step forwards to be in line with the company’s 2050 Environmental Challenge to reduce CO2 emissions by 90%.
A plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHV) is a hybrid vehicle that uses rechargeable batteries, or another energy storage device, that can be recharged by plugging it in to an external source of electric power. A PHV shares the characteristics both of a conventional hybrid vehicle, having an electric motor and an internal combustion engine, and of an all-electric vehicle, having a plug to connect to the electrical grid.
What makes the new Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid stand out of the crowd ?
1. An advanced technology flagship with world’s first solar roof charging system. The roof of the new Prius Plug-in Hybrid can incorporate a large solar panel which generates electricity to charge the hybrid system battery (both while is parked and during driving); the solar charging can increase the EV driving range up to 5 km per day and up to 1000 km per annum;
2. The air-conditioning is powered by a gas injection heat pump – world first technology – which will heat the cabin in outside temperature as low as -10 degrees C, without starting the engine, hence minimizing the impact which heating the interior has on both fuel consumption and EV driving range;
3. During the charging, a new battery warming system will warm the cells to an efficient working temperature in outside conditions as cold as -20 degrees C. This ensures that both battery power and efficiency are maintained as a sufficient level to minimize the impact of cold weather on EV driving range, with full power available from start off in even very cold conditions;
4. A faster battery charging. The battery maximum charging power increased from 2 to 3.3 kW and can be fully charged up to 65% more quickly; in only 2 hours using a specific connector and 3 hours and 10 minutes using a standard household plug socket. Moreover, the larger lithium-ion battery pack allows drivers to remain in EV mode for a range of over 50 km and at speeds up to 135 km/h;
5. The Dual Motor Drive System it’s Toyota’s first hybrid powertrain. This boosts EV driving power for better acceleration, an even more engaging performance and a maximum EV driving speed of 135 km/h, whilst reducing engine start up frequency;
6. The slim 4-LED headlamp units features new Adaptive Headlamp System (AHS) technology. AHS reduces power consumption by automatically shading light beam areas occupied by preceding and oncoming vehicles. It also maximises the time during which the driver can use the high beam setting for optimum visibility;
7. The Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) tailgate (a world first for mass production vehicles) reduces weight to further enhance the hybrid drive system’s efficiency;
8. The Toyota Safety System incorporates a Pre-Collision System with pedestrian recognition function, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Automatic High Beam, Road Sign Assist and Adaptive Cruise Control which can slow the car to a standstill when necessary, contributing all together to an enhanced safety of the driver and other road participants’;
9. The Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA)-platform with lower centre of gravity (improved handling response and stability & greater design flexibility, better driving position) and more athletic design gives the car a better aerodynamic, thus reducing also fuel consumption;
10. Finally, with an average fuel consumption of 1.0 l/100 km (BIC) and CO2 emissions of only 22 g/km, the new Prius Plug-in Hybrid reaps the latest technological, innovating and styling benefits of an modern car whilst increasing its environmental performance.
For the third consecutive year, Toyota and Lexus vehicles recorded the lowest average of CO2 emissions in the French market in 2014.
According to CO2 emission figures of all new vehicles sold in France in 2014*, Toyota and Lexus vehicles emitted the least CO2 – 105g/km in average. (see the bar chart below: average CO2 emissions by manufacturer)
This is the third consecutive year that Toyota and Lexus topped this ranking.
Engaging with stakeholders is always important. As such, we have recently hosted a “day out” for a division of DG Clima (from the European Commission) at our Technical Centre.