While most of the cars on show at the Tokyo Motor Show are high performance cars (this will change when it opens to the public soon), Toyota still chose to show off its Plug-In Hybrid Prius. While it’s not completely electric it’s certainly another step in the right direction in terms of moving towards full electric vehicles.
The most impressive point about the Prius Plug-In Hybrid is certainly its charging time. In under two hours at 200V (three hours at 100V) you can fully charge the battery. And that’s simply by plugging it into a standard power point. What’s more, while switched to full electric mode, you’ll be able to drive around 20km on a fully charged battery. Depending on where you live, that’s enough to get you down to the shops and back.
The Prius Plug-In Hybrid looks no different to the current Prius model, it just comes with a plug attached. It can operate with or without the battery charged and has greater fuel efficiency thanks to the improved battery. We asked Yukihiro Okane, Chief Engineer, Product Planning of the Toyota Product Development Group when we could expect batteries that could last for around the same distance as a tank of petrol now, but he said it was still too far away to tell.
This was the Japan premier of the Plug-In Hybrid. When word drops of when we can expect it Gizmodo will be sure to let you know.
Damian Francis is the editor-at-large for Australian T3 and contributing technology editor for GQ Australia. He is in Japan as a guest of Toyota Australia.