Review: 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid | The Truth About Cars

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Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid

Review: 2012 Toyota Plug-In Hybrid

By Alex L. on September 2, 2012

Public tests are common in the computer where a group of fanatics your beta to death and you find the problems. In the automotive this activity is not only it runs contrary to the cash on dressing future cars in vinyl. The Prius plug-in is Toyota built 600 demonstrators and them to large corporations, fleets and, of course the Even TTAC was allowed to one for a week. What does have to do with the final And how does it stack up against the Plug-in Fusion and the 2013 Plug-in? Let’s find

There is little to distinguish the from the “normal” Prius the charging door on the right quarter panel and (if you’re in and the green HOV access stickers. The of distinctiveness is either a benefit or a depending on how loud you want to your “greenness.” The lack of made financial sense for as the Prius is rumored to be redesigned for the model year. Compared to the car, Toyota relocated the port to the rear meaning I had to into parking spots to use public charging stations. wondered why the LEAF’s port is in the Now you know.

Because the Prius’ chassis was for a large battery, no changes to the compartment were required. The area is a different story. The Prius operates in EV mode up to with a range of two miles if you are gentle on the throttle. The plug-in’s is 11-15 miles thanks to a battery. Toyota achieved the increase by using denser batteries (instead of nickel and converting the spare tire into a battery compartment. The is an increase in capacity from to 4.4kWh at the cost of the spare and the The beta car used a 5.2kWh pack that was segmented one 1.2kWh pack and two 2kWh The reason for the change was the three arrangement wasn’t as efficient and the testers complained there was no way to power back into the 2kWh packs once were exhausted.

A 3.1kWh doesn’t sound like until you understand how the Prius the battery. To preserve the life of the a regular Prius will fully discharge or charge the (batteries “wear” faster their charge state is at extreme), reducing the usable to around 0.6kWh. For plug-in Toyota expanded this capacity to somewhere around In comparison, the Volt’s usable is around 12.9kWh and the 2013 plug-in is 6kWh.

Under the hood you will the same 1.8L, 98HP and “power splitting device” as a Prius. The engine and electric even put out the same combined I know what Prius are thinking: Hang on, if it’s the drivetrain, why is my Prius limited to in EV mode? You won’t find the under the hood, it’s the and the software. The Prius’ traction (MG2) is the motor connected to the and depending on how you look at the way the transaxle (great link for tech-heads at ), MG2 is doing most of the work you’re moving forward. why MG2 is an 81HP motor. The “problem” the regular Prius is the discharge The 1.4kWh NiMH battery can only 36HP peak and of continuous power. The plug-in’s batter on the other hand is of delivering 51HP of continuous If your power demands the neighborhood of 51HP, then the turns on to make up the difference up to This new battery pack has benefit: greater regeneration On my daily commute I go over a mountain pass, a regular battery would be full 1,700ft. Because the plug-in was to regenerate all the way down, I gained 7 of EV range to make up for the extra gas it to get me up the hill in the first place.

The Prius isn’t an EV, and it’s not to be a “Toyota Volt” either. it’s more than a CARB compliance car as well. the Volt, Fisker, or even the new Hybrid, the Prius can’t without its engine. Even for drives. If you floor the car, the comes on, and while the beta car had a heat-pump to heat the cabin, the car uses engine heat a regular Prius. Instead, the plug-in is a new type of car where blends two different fuel trading a portion of the gasoline you pay a gallon for in California for electricity at per kWh. The coming Ford hybrids operate in essentially the way.

Let’s look at numbers in terms of a commute. I 106 miles a day, and my commute city, highway and rural roads. Starting with economy without charging . the averaged 33MPG, the Prius 50 and the Prius plug-in averaged 52. the greater ability to regenerate for the figure.) With charging on ends of my commute, the Volt 40MPG, and the Prius plug-in 72MPG.

According to our calculations, if commute is under 27 miles or 27 miles each way with on either end at $0.15/kWh, the Volt is the vehicle to run. The more the electricity, the better the Prius’s Even at $4.35 a gallon My average rate at home is due to my agricultural rate which the operational cost of the Volt than the Prius plug-in at over a 1-mile distance. your rates before you

On the road, the plug-in behaves like a regular Prius to gaining only 150lbs. As you expect, the low rolling resistance deliver moderate road and precious little grip. The is numb a bit over-boosted, body is average and acceleration is leisurely. Is a problem? Not in my mind. The Prius’ is efficiency and not driving pleasure.

in EV mode, exceeding 3/4 throttle cause the engine to start, I still think is a pity. the plug-in is perfectly capable of mountainous terrain in pure EV At speeds above about you have to be more gentle on the in order to prevent the engine kicking in and at 62 the engine starts no how ginger you are. If it’s a day outside and you’re using the heater, the Prius’ engine turn on immediately and run to keep the warm. Unlike a regular if you are in EV mode,  the engine will be idling and generating a small of power as long as you keep speed under 62.

Although the battery and motor are capable of speeds greater 62MPH, the system’s design the engine to be spinning. This that in “EV mode” above the EV battery provides the majority of the while the engine essentially In this operation, we were getting 180 MPG while on a level traveling 70MPH for 9-10

Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid

With a starting price of or $40,285 if you prefer your fully-loaded, the Prius plug-in has a market in mind. You either to want the latest in Prius or be willing to pay $8,000 to use the HOV lanes for a few While I do believe it would be to eventually save money vs a Prius, it will take an and some serious number On my commute it would take miles for the plug-in to break with a $24,000 Prius. If commute is 24 miles a day, the break even drops to miles. But at 24 miles a day, it take you 20 years. Still, is that HOV lane to consider. On my the HOV stickers would cut my daily by 30 minutes or  11 hours a month. How is that worth to you? If answer isn’t: $8,000, click on over to our Prius C While the Prius plug-in may sense for a select few, the beta program still in several ways. Toyota some major changes to the systems as a result of the feedback and a non-stop flow of reviews in the If only Bentley could do the

Toyota provided the vehicle, and fuel for this review.

economy average over 65

Percent of time in EV mode: 20%

statistics as tested:

0-30: 3.4

0-60: 10.0 seconds

Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid
Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid
Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid
Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid


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