Electric car maker/modifier Zap has been busy lately. At the end of February, they took an order for 100 electric SUVs from Korean company Samyang, who also happens to be its strategic investor and distribution partner. Now, they've announced an agreement with Battelle, an international science and technology company that manages Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, to license PNNL's Smart Charger Controller. The controller allows owners of plug-ins to minimize the cost of charging their vehic
Bob Carter, group vice president and general manager of the Toyota brand, came to Detroit on Monday to have lunch with some local media. Among the topics of discussion at the gathering were Toyota's plans for zero emissions vehicles.
We'll start with the numbers: $1,995 will get you a 2 kWh plug-in battery pack for your second-generation Toyota Prius; $2,995 will get you a 4 kWh pack (the installation feel and the $95 delivery charge are extra). For your two or three grand, you can reach "the holy grail of achieving 100 mpg."
They won't look like the second-generation Prius plug-in pictured above, but Toyota has announced the first of its non-European leasing programs for its new PHEV (see here). Starting late this year Toyota will start leasing 200 plug-capable Priuses to government and commercial fleets in Japan. A similar program has been mentioned by Toyota executives for the U.S. market in the past and an announcement on that should probably be coming soon.
We all know that there is a hardcore group of consumers out there chanting the mantra of "No plug, no sale!" Okay, well, at least a few of you. The problem is that, like commenters on the internet, the loud fringe makes most of the noise, but often actually represents a very small percentage of the total population. For the rest of the car buying public, the realities of choosing a new car go well beyond the ability to "refuel" from a plug in the garage. This is the reality that Toyota, General
We all know that there is a hardcore group of you out there chanting the mantra of "No plug, no sale!" Okay, well, at least a few of you. The problem is that, like commenters on the internet, the loud fringe makes most of the noise, but actually represents a very small percentage of the total population. For the rest of the car buying public, the realities of choosing a new car go well beyond the ability to "refuel" from a plug in the garage. This is the reality that Toyota, GM, Nissan, Mitsubis
To get a little bit of clarification on the reported 12-mile EV-only range that the plug-in Prius is achieving in current testing, we spoke with Toyota Prius vehicle specialist Stephanie Wohlgamuth, who is working at the Toyota booth here at the SAE World Congress. Wohlgamuth said that the number is fairly accurate, and that the vehicles are currently driving between seven and 14 miles on electrons only. While this is notably shorter than the Volt's 40-mile EV-only target, Toyota is giving itsel
According to the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun in Japan, Toyota's upcoming plug-in Prius will have a range of a little over 12 miles (20 kilometers) on electric power only. That's significantly less than the EV range that's planned for PHEV competitors like the Chevy Volt, but it also means the PHEV Prius should cost considerably less than vehicles with larger battery capacities.
Nearly a year ago the city of Seattle started a field test of 14 Toyota Priuses converted to plug-in hybrid capability. At the time, the expectation was that the cars would top 100 mpg overall and 150 mpg in urban driving. The problem is that these PHEVs, like all other hybrids, are particularly sensitive to driving style. If you try to accelerate at any rate above the bare minimum the system won't stay in EV mode and the mileage improvement is slashed. After 17,636 miles, the 14 cars in the cit
Toyota's Vice President of communications Irv Miller has published a post on the company blog refuting a recent report that the small fleet of plug-in Priuses is averaging 65 mpg. The small group of converted PHEV Priuses that currently exist in the U.S. are mostly being used for demonstration purposes at auto shows and other events. A few of the cars are being used in university studies including one at University of California-Davis. The current cars all use doubled up nickel metal hydride bat
According to Toyota, its plug-in Prius hybrids are averaging 65 miles per gallon in real world testing. This is an improvement of 15 mpg over the recently-unveiled 2010 Prius. The secret to the big fuel mileage increase is a battery with the capacity to store much more energy than the unit in the standard Prius. This means a lithium ion technology and a much greater expense. So far, Toyota has not committed to a date when you'll be able to actually purchase a PHEV Prius for yourself, but it does
Even if not everyone likes the Prius conversion aftermarket results, it can't be a bad thing that there is one more team out there willing to add batteries and a plug to your Prius, right? The WSJ recently profiled Daniel Sherwood and Paul Guzyk of Berkeley's 3Prong Power Inc., which will upgrade your Prius for about $7,000. That seven grand will get you an extra 5 kwh of power from 360 lbs of lead acid batteries (originally designed for electric wheelchairs), enough to go about 10 miles in elec
While the main storyline for Consumer Reports' February issue revolves around the new Hyundai Genesis and its toppling of the mighty Lexus ES350 as the mag's top-rated entry-level luxury sedan, another tidbit of information regarding next month's rag caught our attention. Apparently, CR purchased a Hymotion L5 plug-in Prius conversion kit from A123 Systems, and testing proved to be a mixed bag. We don't have full details to share regarding the kit's installation or full fuel mileage statistics,