In the transition from prototype to production form, the Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid will reportedly be subject to some minor modifications. It's believed the production version of the plug-in hybrid, which will make its worldwide debut at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show in mid-September, will differ from the prototype in some minor – yet potentially critical – ways.

Sources say the production Prius Plug-in's battery pack – a 5.2 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion unit – will be slightly smaller than the pack that powers the current prototypes. This, according to Green Car Reports, will increase the Prius' ability to haul cargo. Additionally, GCR says "sources close to Toyota" have hinted the prototype Prius Plug-in's 13-mile electric-only range will be improved upon before the gas-electric Toyota hits U.S. dealerships. How much an increase in range will we see? Well, that remains unknown, but a couple of miles would bump 13 up to 15, and that'd be right swell, don't you think?


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  • 31 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      Excellent. 13 miles just seems a bit too low. If they can get the EV range up to 20 I will be even more excited about this car.
        Ford Future
        • 3 Years Ago
        Or, Toyota could just sit on this design, and refresh the battery every two or three years, as battery tech evolves.
      amtoro
      • 3 Years Ago
      If we go by Nissan's figures and a 24kWh battery can do 100 miles in L4 cycle, then 5.2 kWh "should" be enough for about 21 miles. That could convince a lot of potential customers.
        EV Now
        • 3 Years Ago
        @amtoro
        But PHV is not an EV - they can't use so much % of depth of discharge. Besides, Leaf battery is more than 24 kwh but usable is near 21-22 kWh.
      Sasparilla Fizz
      • 3 Years Ago
      One way this could be happening is that Toyota decided they could use more of the capacity of the packs (enough to shrink them as well) without damaging them, than they did with the prototype packs (you don't use 100% of the capacity of a pack as it has serious long term usable capacity consequences). So, hypothetically, the prototype packs were using 87% of the capacity and now they are going to use 92% of the slightly smaller packs and get a little bump in range. Although going from 13 miles to 14 miles or 15 or 13.2 is pretty small - when I first saw the headline I was hoping maybe they would go to 20. But any increase in usable range will be good.
        masteraq
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Sasparilla Fizz
        Wanted to point out that the Chevy Volt is using 50% of its pack capacity, and I would be surprised if the Prius used even that much. The Volt's 33mi range means the pack has to survive 3000 charge-discharge cycles to last 100000 miles. With a 13mi range, the battery in the Prius would have to survive 7692 charge-discharge cycles to get to 100000 miles (!). With a 250mi range the battery would have to survive only 400 charge-discharge cycles, hence why Tesla can get away with using cheap cells and nearly the full pack capacity.
          Ford Future
          • 3 Years Ago
          @masteraq
          Toyota probably has designed the charge-discharge cycle to survive to 300,000 miles.
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 3 Years Ago
      Yay! Hopefully they can get it up to 20 miles. It then starts to become actually worth the cash. If they can keep the car's price below $30k, then the Leaf has some competition, and the Volt will falter. The reason is the Volt's MPG; it can't stack up to the Toyota.. and the Prius has a great reputation for reliability..
      Nick
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's a short range, but a giant leap forward, since many, many people will buy it.
      Mark Sumner
      • 3 Years Ago
      I feel like I should run an article that just says "help me decide if I want to stick with my Volt order." I really like the Volt's tech (and I ordered the insane white & black interior just so I could drive while havinG NASA fantasies), but every article on the plug-in Prius makes me wonder if I made the right choice.
        krona2k
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Mark Sumner
        You'll have a more capable car with the volt in many ways but it will cost a lot more, pros and cons.
          Ele Truk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @krona2k
          Please explain how the Volt is more capable? Less passengers (4 vs. 5), less storage space (10.6 vs 20.4 cu. ft.), less MPG (37 vs. 54).
        Nick
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Mark Sumner
        The Volt is a far superior car designed from the group up to be an EV. This Prius has a small add-on EV feature with a dismal range. Stick with the Volt!
        Julius
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Mark Sumner
        What'll answer that question is what the EV-only performance of the Prius PHEV will be. If the electric-only performance (and I mean acceleration, not range) is simliar to the current Prius (and I expect it to be), then that should answer your question - unless the slower acceleration in EV-only mode isn't an issue for you. And for those who would argue that it isn't an issue - well as the Prius 1.8L is rated at 98 hp, and the combined system is rated at 134hp, then it stands to reason that the expected output for the MG2 set in EV-mode alone would be 36 hp (or about what the discharge rate of the current battery set would be - ~27 kW).
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Julius
          It's 80 hp, not 36. The 60 kWh electric-motor is currently under utilized. The better battery clearly reveals that. I effortlessly accelerated up a highway ramp to 50 mph in EV, with the engine still at 0 RPM, when I got behind the wheel with a PHV last summer. I was able to cruise at 100 km/h (62 mph) too.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Julius
          I've managed to trash my bookmarks, so can't give a link, but the plug-in has been roadtested and drives almost identically to the conventional Prius. The only real gripes seemed to be that it is exactly that, ie no more exiting to drive than a normal Prius, and that the engine makes itself felt much more when it cuts in than that in the Volt.
      Swifty
      • 3 Years Ago
      Did someone photoshop cheap knock-off Torq Thrust wheels onto that car. Those look beyond terrible.
      krona2k
      • 3 Years Ago
      Or unless the battery has been improved such that it can use a greater percentage of it's rated capacity, like the Toshiba ones where a lower kwh/kg actually results in a greater usable capacity, these things don't always seem logical on paper!
      fairfireman21
      • 3 Years Ago
      What is the added cost of the 13 miles of pure electric over the previous Prius. Batteries are not cheap and at say 40 MPG city a $1000 battery would pay for 10,000 miles of gas @ $4/gallon. But I bet $1000 is way low for the added price. Then again there is another battery that will need to be replaced and disposed of.
        EJ
        • 3 Years Ago
        @fairfireman21
        My wife's commute is 8 miles a day. The PiP covers this with room to spare. Our already paid for solar array means her daily commute is free, and in the same vehicle that will get us 60 mpg on long highway trips. But just keep burning that gas in that truck/SUV you 'need', I'm enjoying my oil and gas dividends. Besides, I clearly spend your money better than you do.
          fairfireman21
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EJ
          I think it is great she only has an 8 mile commute, and it is great it would or does work for you. But I could not afford an extra $3000 for just a gain of 13 miles. I will keep burning the gas for my SUV because 1 it is paid for, 2 I do need a bigger vehicle so that I can tow for my work. If you had my money you would not have a solar array, or a new hybrid or electric car, because you would not be able to afford any of that, just like I can not afford to buy a new vehicle to have as a runner.
      RB
      • 3 Years Ago
      Brilliantly designed and played Toyota. Keep em guessing right to rollout. It will be a fierce competitor as it always has been. Disclosure, I do not own a Prius.
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 3 Years Ago
      30km is probably a good minimum. otherwise it might be constant range extender anxiety even for those living in cities
        usbseawolf2000
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        There is no range extender anxiety when you have the cleanest and most efficient eAT-PZEV extender that runs on regular gas.
          Dan Frederiksen
          • 3 Years Ago
          @usbseawolf2000
          it is regular gas that we hate so yes there most certainly is. the prius is crappy soft heavy steel of moderate aerodynamics. just because it's better on gas than other cars doesn't mean that it doesn't deserve to be loathed.
          2 Wheeled Menace
          • 3 Years Ago
          @usbseawolf2000
          +1 seawolf. IMHO this is a much better choice for those people who can't live with the Leaf's short range. Think about it, all the electric range does in the Volt is save you about a gallon of gas on a long trip. From then on, you're stuck with whatever MPG the car gets. The Prius will beat the Volt at it's game.
          Rotation
          • 3 Years Ago
          @usbseawolf2000
          eAT-PZEV has only to do with trace emissions. It's still nothing like running on electricity.
      Rotation
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think you mean mostly electric range.
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