Toyota says that plug-in hybrid versions of its Prius hatchback are averaging 65 miles per gallon in real-world testing. For those keeping track, that's a 15 mpg improvement over the upcoming 2010 Prius. As with today's hybrids, the actual mileage figure is highly dependent on the driver's right foot and these machines are likely based on the second-gen Prius that's currently roaming the streets, modified with a lithium ion battery pack that's capable of storing much more energy that the nickel metal hydride pack of the standard car.

A new Prius was debuted at the Detroit Auto Show last month and should go on sale sometime later this year, but it's still equipped with the older battery technology. So far, Toyota has yet to announce any specific plans regarding the future sale date of a plug-in Prius to regular consumers, and the automaker is now suggesting that any of its hybrids would be good candidates for PHEV technology, including the Prius, which seems like the most logical choice. In any case, it appears that Toyota is content to let GM push forward with the series hybrid Volt technology while its engineers remain in the PHEV data capturing stage.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]