Plug-in Prius Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

Toyota has been showing off its plug-in hybrid Prius since it debuted in concept form at the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show. The Japanese automaker is getting ready to deliver the 2012 production version, and we just found out that it will have some significant changes over the prototype versions we've seen so far.

The 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle boasts two unique features; a selectable EV driving mode, and the ability to apply recaptured energy to the electric-only driving range.

The selectable EV driving mode will be quite useful for trips requiring the use of a highway or that cover longer distances than simple in-town errand running. This will allow Prius PHEV drivers to conserve energy for electric-only jaunts. A button will allow you to turn the EV mode on or off.

Any run-of-the-mill Prius hybrid uses regeneration to replenish the battery. In the protoptye PHEVs, no more energy can be recaptured and stored for later use than the regular non-plug-in model. That means there was no way to extend EV-only range without plugging back in. On the production version of the Prius PHEV, the car will be able to take advantage of that regenerated energy, and extend the time the car can spend in EV mode.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 21 Comments
      Ace Convoy
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is starting to grow on me....
      Doug
      • 3 Years Ago
      "the ability to apply recaptured energy to the electric-only driving range." Where else is the energy supposed to go?
      tantareanujellob
      • 3 Years Ago
      "Any run-of-the-mill Prius hybrid uses regeneration to replenish the battery. In the protoptye PHEVs, no more energy can be recaptured and stored for later use than the regular non-plug-in model. That means there was no way to extend EV-only range without plugging back in. On the production version of the Prius PHEV, the car will be able to take advantage of that regenerated energy, and extend the time the car can spend in EV mode." Do you guys proof read this garbage before publishing it?
      MarcCBR
      • 3 Years Ago
      So if your out of electric only charge, you can drive up a hill in hybrid mode and drive down in EV only mode and be able to charge the electric only battery?
      Hyns
      • 3 Years Ago
      "Any run-of-the-mill Prius hybrid uses regeneration to replenish the battery." If i'm in EV-mode stop and go city driving only for 13 miles or so, how much juice out of total capacity of battery-pack may be replenish (let's say in %)?
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        GeorgeAtha
        • 3 Years Ago
        just like your opinion which matters to absolutely noboby... why bother to comment on this article then?
      nsxrules
      • 3 Years Ago
      More bad news for the already troubled Volt:(
        caddy-v
        • 3 Years Ago
        @nsxrules
        Pay no attention to him, he used to go under the FT handle and we caught him in at least two dozen lies.
        montoym
        • 3 Years Ago
        @nsxrules
        Why? The Volt does this as well and has an even larger battery. The PHEV Prius will only have a 13-17mi EV range with a max speed of 62mph in EV mode. The Volt has a 35-40mi EV range and can run all the way to its top speed on battery power. What about this story suddenly made the Volt look worse?
      akos83
      • 3 Years Ago
      FINALLY! It was about time! It's strange everybody forgot about these features. Toyota did it again. This is why the Prius is a class leader. Now everybody will try to copy this.
        axiomatik
        • 3 Years Ago
        @akos83
        The selectable EV mode is the only new feature listed here. The other "feature" is really just fixing a glaring deficiency in the prototype models. (a deficiency probably caused by the need to rush the prototype out onto the streets, and it being an engineering work-around)
          usbseawolf2000
          • 3 Years Ago
          @axiomatik
          I wouldn't call it deficiency. The idea was to use up the PHV battery pack first then use the gasoline. If the driver forget to turn the EV mode back on then you'll have extra electricity at the end of the trip. That would defeat the entire point of plugging with extra cost and weight. With the prototypes, they put it into fleet and government research hand to collect real-world data. How most people would use it in the real-world. Using that data, they will be tweaking features and functionality. The approach is different than their competitor where a limited number of vehicles are sold or leased to enthusiastic.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Hyns
      • 3 Years Ago
      will there be any exterior changes at all?.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
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