Toyota has always been a leader in electric and hybrid vehicles, and with the new Toyota Prius Plug-In, they’re proving why. The Plug-In includes features of both a hybrid model and an electric model. So you get the benefits of an all-electric vehicle, but still have a combustion engine for back up, giving the vehicle a much larger range than all electric cars.
The Prius Plug-In utilizes a 4.4kWh lithium ion battery pack. Despite the extra weight this adds to the car, the Plug-In Hybrid’s size and weight is still similar enough to the standard Prius as to not interfere too much with the vehicle’s driving performance. It also comes with the standard 5 seats and cargo space as you would expect in a normal Prius.
As an electric vehicle, the Plug-In can go 15 miles on pure electricity. After that, it can switch to full hybrid mode, even during full acceleration. In hybrid mode it runs a 49mpg engine.
Additional features include heated front seats, remote air conditioning, a charger timer, 15-inch alloy wheels, a smart key, Entune Multimedia System and smartphone connectivity. The Plug-In Hybrid Advanced, priced at $39,525, also comes with a charging station map, pre-collision system, and a heads-up display. Charging only takes three hours.
The Plug-In will start at $32,760, but is expected to qualify for a federal tax credit of $2,500. This pricing makes it competitive with other similar electric and hybrid vehicles. Both the base model and advanced should hit markets in March 2012, but only in 14 states. National rollout will begin in 2013.
Including the Prius Plug-In Hybrid, the Prius will now be available in four models, the other three being the Prius liftback, Prius V, and Prius C.