More details of Toyota Prius plug-in released
15 September 2009

The Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid has been rated as releasing less than 60g/km of CO2, meaning it will be the cleanest car on the roads when it becomes available for leasing next year.

The car, which was unveiled at the Frankfurt motor show, also has a 12.5-mile electric range (six miles further than the conventional Prius) at speeds up to 62mph, before switching to conventional petrol-electric hybrid operation.

Toyota's research has shown that 80 per cent of UK journeys are less than 6.2 miles long, meaning an electric-only journey would be possible.

The plug-in Prius will be the first Toyota to use lithium-ion batteries, which are smaller, lighter and hold more charge than the nickel metal hydride cells the company has used to date.

The plug-in Prius can be fully recharged from a 230V power supply in 1.5 hours.

Next year's test programme will involve 500 customers worldwide leasing the car and putting it through everyday use. Around 150 plug-in Prius's will be tested in Europe, including some in the UK.

Details of UK tests will be announced at a later date.

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10 September 2009

Will the conventional Prius really manage 6.5 miles on electric only? Ours (admittedly previous shape) won't get anywhere close to that. 20 odd g/km reduction on the standard Prius is impressive, although with only a 12.5 mile range on electric only, I fear it says more about the weaknesses of the current standard fuel economy test regime than anything else.

10 September 2009

[quote MrTrilby]I fear it says more about the weaknesses of the current standard fuel economy test regime than anything else.[/quote]

You are so right. Hybrids are always tested i believe with the batteries fully charged before the test starts. If they empty at the end, it doesnt matter. It does give Hybrids a huge advantage. But then the whole test is designed to make economical cars appear more economical than they are, whilest more consumptive cars are made to look far worse than they really are.

A fairer test would be to ensure they either statred with no charge, or at least ensured they ended the test with the same amount of charge as tey started with.

I am not anti Hybrid at all, I owned an original Insight for a couple of years. It averaged 67.7 mpg in while i had it. Absolutely great, but miles off the 83 it claimed. I now own a Monaro that claims 18.5, but 23 is nearer the mark, so the Insight managed just over 80% of the claimed figures. The Monaro is about 25% better than claimed.

So the plug in Hybrid just goes further before the petrol is used. As the test isnt very long, i am surprised the plug in Prius isnt rated at 0g/km.

Does anyone know the exact nature and rules of the test?

As they say, 'Lies, damned Lies, and Statistics'. I think that couldnt more more appropriate than with these EEC tests

10 September 2009

[quote artill]As they say, 'Lies, damned Lies, and Statistics'. I think that couldnt more more appropriate than with these EEC tests[/quote]

I was talking to a motoring journalist the other day and he told me that the manufacturers do the economy tests on the cars themselves to produce the EEC figures, not an independent body. I wouldn't have thought that it would be at all tempting to tweak the ECU, overinflate the tyres and raise the air temperature to get better figures!

As it is, cars are already having their ECU's and gearing optimised for the test rather than for road driving, hence the strange flat spots and lack of 'real world' mpg that we experience. The test also flatters those horrible CVT gearboxes allowing them to pull unrealistic ratios on the constant speed running.

Again, I have nothing against the Prius, I am going to road test one soon, but manufacturers need to start quoting real world mpg rather than EEC ones or flakey g/km figures. The Prius is a well built, comfortable family car, but nobody will approach these quoted figures.

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