The Prius Plug-in is our first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, equipped with a rechargeable battery that lets you drive further on zero-emissions electric power.
Our plug-in electric technology lets you achieve even more with our full hybrid electric system, making it possible to drive further and at higher speeds using just the car’s electric power. The Prius Plug-in uses a rechargeable lithium-ion hybrid battery which lets the car to be driven for more than 50km and at up to about 135km/h with no emissions and zero fuel consumption.
Once battery power is used up, the hybrid electric engine automatically takes over, so there is none of the “range anxiety” drivers can experience with battery electric vehicles, which have to be recharged as soon as their energy is exhausted. Plug-in electric technology also allows you to further reduce overall fuel consumption: the more frequently you recharge, the greater the economy gains.
The Prius Plug-in’s lithium-ion battery is smaller than the nickel-metal hydride one used in the standard Prius, but it can produce more power. As the “plug-in” name suggests, it can be easily and quickly recharged by being connected to an ordinary power supply at home or at work, or at a roadside charging point. A full recharge takes a little over two hours and we are researching how we can make it even easier with wireless charging technology, so you don’t even have to use connector cables.
Most typical commuting journeys can be covered just using the car’s electric power (BEV mode). After recharging the battery in the evening, the car is ready for the next day’s commute. On longer trips, the electric motor and hybrid gasoline engine work together in the same smooth and efficient way as in our other full hybrid electric vehicles (HEV mode). As a result, the Prius Plug-in has extremely low CO2 emissions of just 22g/km.
The Prius Plug-in Hybrid electric vehicle was the world’s first mass-market plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.
In the future we expect this technology to be featured in an increasing number of cars, as the recharging infrastructure develops and different car makers work to meet increasingly stringent national and international emissions regulations.
We believe plug-in hybrid electric is a natural evolution of our hybrid electric technology and an important means to help further reduce emissions in the future.