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.
• Germany’s Center of Automotive Management selects the 100 most disruptive automotive innovations
• Comparison of over 8,000 innovations in the automotive industry of the last decade has resulted with the fuel cell vehicle leading the ranking
• Launched in 2012, the Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid landed in third place in the ranking
The Toyota Mirai is the outstanding innovation of the past decade: the fuel cell vehicle landed at the top of the Germany‘s Center of Automotive Management’s (CAM) ranking of the world’s 100 most significant automotive engineering innovations.
With the first European customers taking delivery in the coming weeks in Germany, Denmark and the UK, this hydrogen-powered zero emission sedan ushers in a new era to the automotive world as we know it.
To make their ranking, the CAM team, based in Bergisch Gladbach and headed by Prof. Dr. Stefan Bratzel, closely examined more than 8,000 new innovations in the period from 2005 to 2015. These were rated according to their relevance to the market and industry as well as their innovativeness.
The winner was world’s first mass-produced fuel cell sedan to become available to the public. Hydrogen is transformed in the fuel cell stack into electricity which powers the 114 kW/155 HP electric engine. FCVs are zero emission vehicles, emitting only water during driving. They are as easy to use as conventional vehicles and are capable of long trips thanks to their range and refuelling time, both comparable to those of a petrol car.
The Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid is another winner of the CAM survey and another first of its kind: the first mass-produced plug-in can be charged using any standard household socket and in addition to5.2 kW/h electricity uses just 2.1 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres, which corresponds to 49 grams of CO2 emissions per kilometre. In the ranking of the 100 most significant innovations, that means a third place.