2012 Toyota Prius Plugin Hybrid Autos Life Epoch Times

29 Апр 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи 2012 Toyota Prius Plugin Hybrid Autos Life Epoch Times отключены
TOYOTA Prius Plug-In Hybrid

2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid

Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid. (Courtesy of Toyota Newsroom)

While the 2012 Prius Plug-in Hybrid is not available at your local Toyota dealers yet, the company has been allowing government agencies, universities, and some car writers around the country to test drive the approximately 160 vehicles they have equipped with lithium-ion batteries for their demonstration program. The program allows them to gather feedback that will be used to further improve the plug-in technology. The company also hopes the demo models will spur development of public access charging stations available in such technically-advanced cities as Boulder, Colorado and even Austin, Texas.

Starting with tests in Boulder in the fall of 2009 and spreading to include parts of California, NY, New Jersey, Washington D.C. Portland, Oregon, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Texas and other areas, the dashboard data from these test vehicles has been posted to www.toyota.com/ESQ to help consumers understand how the plug-in hybrid vehicles are being used.

The Prius Plug-in Hybrid is basically built just like the other Prius models, a mid-size box that seats five but with a much heavier lithium-ion battery pack that can be charged in three hours on a 110-volt outlet, or in half that time using a 220 volt outlet. The charge will get you 13 miles, then the car reverts back to hybrid or gasoline mode. The heavy battery pack adds about 300 pounds to the car’s weight, which causes it to accelerate somewhat slower than a standard Prius.

The charge receptacle of the Prius Plug-in. (Courtesy of Toyota Newsroom)

While the PHV can operate in EV mode at speeds up to 60 mph, you obviously won’t buy this car for its speed, but for its fuel economy. The presence of a pure EV mode for a maximum range of 13 miles greatly affects the fuel economy estimateit heavily depends on how much of the trip runs on pure battery power. Once the battery charge is depleted, it behaves just like a regular Prius.

TOYOTA Prius Plug-In Hybrid

Toyota hopes to bring the PHV to market for $15,000-$27,000, or a price lower than the sportier looking and driving Chevrolet Volt.

I had the opportunity to drive the PHV test model for a week, and enjoyed the experience while admittedly not plugging in the Hybrid more than once. While it was fun and certainly inexpensive to drive on an electrically-charged battery, it’s hard to find any place but home to plug in. My hometown of Dallas, Texas hasn’t caught on to public charging outlets yetat least not on any of my regular routes.

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Jo Ann Holt is a car columnist and journalist based in Dallas, Texas, and a member of Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA).

TOYOTA Prius Plug-In Hybrid
TOYOTA Prius Plug-In Hybrid
TOYOTA Prius Plug-In Hybrid
TOYOTA Prius Plug-In Hybrid
TOYOTA Prius Plug-In Hybrid

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