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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
 |  Nov 29 2011, 7:30 PM

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Toyota is banking on its plug-in Prius hybrid and other new models to help bring their sales numbers back to pre-2008 status, where Toyota had no trouble grabbing the global sales crown each year. Currently Toyota is poised to lose that trophy to General Motors, undoubtedly due to the earthquake in March in Japan and the floods in Thailand hampering production.

But Toyota has a bright future ahead of them with their abundance of gasoline-electric vehicles on the horizon. There’s no doubt the Prius has enjoyed immense success worldwide and the Prius PHV hybrid will be introduced to the Japanese market on January 30th, with a starting price around $41,000. Toyota is aiming to sell 35,000 to 40,000 plug-in Priuses a year in Japan alone.

The new Prius PHV has a cruising range of 16.4-miles on its lithium-ion battery and can be charged using a household electricity outlet. Toyota hopes that the PHV will be able to compete with the electric car market while enticing consumers that are hesitant to buy an all-electric car.

[Source: Automotive News]

 |  Oct 19 2011, 12:00 PM

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While the Toyota Prius has long been the automotive ambassador of the green movement, Pike Research conducted a Cost of Driving test to find out whether the all new 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in can trump the Chevrolet Volt. According to its findings, by first establishing the price for every gallon of gas at $3.50 and every kilowatt-hour for 11 cents for the test, the Volt earned a more economic and cost effective result than a Prius Plug-in for trips under 70 miles.

For the first 15 miles of the graph, the lines are not visible because both vehicles will be capable running full electric. By 30 miles, the Volt’s cost for every mile gets significantly more expensive until it eventually crosses over Prius’ costs at 70 miles of driving.

Of course, if pricing parameters on gas and electricity were to change, then a different result would surface. All in all, customers should consider their driving routines day to day. When trips taken are no longer than 70 miles, as is often the case in urban regions where electric vehicles are popular, then a Volt proves to be more appealing.

GALLERY: Toyota Prius Plug-in & Chevrolet Volt

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[Source: Autoblog Green]

 |  Sep 16 2011, 2:40 PM

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After debuting the car earlier this week at the Frankfurt Auto Show, Toyota has now released official details on the new Prius Plug-in Hybrid including expected fuel economy numbers. While it’s not quite up to the much-hyped Chevy Volt, the Prius PHEV will feature, “more affordable pricing than pure electric or range-extender type vehicles,” says Toyota; though no numbers have yet been released.

With a 15 mile electric only range, it falls well short of the Volt and is a few ticks shy in terms of a MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent) rating of 87 MPGe, compared to 96 for the Volt. However, the Prius PHEV is more efficient after, with a 49-mpg rating once it reverts to its conventional hybrid mode, compared to 37-mpg with the Volt. And if it matters to your wallet, the Toyota uses conventional 87 octane gas, while the Volt required premium.

Charging for the Prius PHEV doesn’t take too long with a 2.5 to 3 hour charge using a conventional 120v household outlet or just 1.5 hours with a more powerful 240v household outlet.

With the use of a lithium-ion battery pack, the Prius PHEV does gain 123 lbs but doesn’t give up any space in the passenger or cargo departments. One thing it does gain Toyota’s new Entune system, as first seen on the Prius v. Additions to this system for the PHEV include Charge Management, Remote Air Conditioning System, Charging Station Map, Vehicle Finder and an Eco Dashboard.

GALLERY: 2012 Prius PHEV

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 |  Sep 14 2011, 8:45 AM

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After showing it in concept form almost as many times as the FT-86, Toyota has finally unveiled the production version of its Prius Plug-in Hybrid at the Frankfurt Auto Show. Called “the world’s most sophisticated hybrid electric powertrain” by Toyota Europe boss Didier Leroy, the company is claiming an incredible 112-mpg rating for the car. Believable? Not really, and for good reason. The actual rating provided is 2.1 l/100 km in Europe and while that does translate to 112-mpg, the European test cycle is far more forgiving the in the U.S. Still, that number could reach as high as 70-mpg (or higher) on the U.S. EPA system.

On a full charge the Prius PHEV is capable of 23 km (14 miles) of emissions free driving, after which is operates like a conventional Prius hybrid, eliminating any range anxiety. During this post-emissions free stage, Toyota claims the Prius is still, “much more efficient than the backup powertrains in competitors,” says Leroy – a shot a the Volt (sold as the Opel Ampera in Europe).

On sale in the first half of 2012 in Europe, look for it to arrive in North America about the same time. European pricing is set at 37,000 Euros, or about $11,500 more than a conventional Prius. If that increase holds true, look for the Prius PHEV to be priced between $35,000 and $40,000 in North America.

GALLERY: Toyota Prius PHEV

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 |  Jul 21 2011, 8:55 AM

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Toyota is ambitious on sales of the plug-in version of its popular Prius hybrid. In an interview with the Detroit Free Press, company spokesman John Hanson commented that, “We’re certainly on line to sell 16,000 to 17,000 in 2012.”

That would put the Prius Plug-in Hybrid well ahead of rivals like the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt. So far this year, Nissan has managed to sell just shy of 4,000 Leaf EVs, with Volt sales totaling in 2,745 at the mid-way point of the year.

Toyota is also confident that it won’t have any supply issues with the car, with Hanson commenting that they will build as many of the cars as the market demands.

When it does arrive in early 2012, the Prius Plug-in Hybrid will be able to travel 13 miles emissions free, before switching over to a conventional hybrid system, and achieving 50-mpg average. While the electric-only range won’t be equal to that of the Volt or Leaf, the Prius PHEV is expected to cost significantly less.

[Source: FreeP]

Click here to read AutoGuide’s 2012 Prius Plug-in Hybrid Prototype Review

 |  Jun 16 2011, 8:15 AM

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When Toyota‘s Prius Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle finally makes it to market next year it will come with two new features that weren’t on the prototype we first drove last October. The first of the tech additions will be a driver-selectable EV mode, while the second will be a full regenerative braking system. Allow us to explain.

First up is the selectable EV mode, meaning that the driver will be able to choose when they want to use the estimated 10 miles or so of electric-only range. While other systems use the EV range immediately and then switch to a type of hybrid mode, the Prius PHEV would allow owners to get out on the highway in a normal hybrid mode and then switch to EV mode once they got close to the city where the traffic congestion is worse.

Second is the ability to full recapture electric energy under braking. In the prototype model we tested the regenerative brakes could only be used to sustain the hybrid drive system once the EV mode had depleted. The new version will, however, allow for continued (and possible full, but extremely unlikely) regeneration without having to plug it in. This could significantly expand the distance you’re able to travel in EV mode depending on the terrain – like if you’re daily drive includes a long downhill run.

[Source: Autoblog]

 |  May 10 2011, 7:16 AM

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Toyota is denying a report that the automaker plans to switch all of its Prius models over to a plug-in hybrid setup by 2014.

With the Plug-in Prius about to go on sale, a report from the Nikkei business daily indicated that the Japanese automaker is set to then make all future Prius models use the same technology, likely starting with the next generation of the car. Using a more advanced lithium-ion battery pack, but retaining the same Prius engine, the PHEV model has an electric only range of 12 miles and can be recharged in 3 hours using a conventional household outlet or 1.5 hours using a quick-charging station.

It might not get the 25 to 50 mile range of the Chevy Volt, but Toyota is expected to price it much lower, allowing for a significantly larger volume of sales.

Speaking to PluginCars.com, Toyota environmental communications manager Jana Hartline refuted the Nikkei report stating that it is, “not accurate.” “There is no formal plan to make all Priuses plug-in by 2014,” she said, indicating that it doesn’t fit with the brand’s new Prius family plan.

Click here to read AutoGuide’s 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid Review

[Source: Reuters, PluginCars]

 |  Dec 14 2009, 3:13 PM

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After displaying a concept version of the Prius Plug-In Hybrid (PHV) at the Frankfurt, Tokyo and LA Auto Shows, today Toyota officially announced the introduction of the production model in Japan. Starting immediately and carrying over the next six months, Toyota will build and ship 600 Prius PHVs to different markets around the world with 230 in Japan, 150 in the U.S. and 200 in Europe. The models will be leased to fleets and studied by Toyota.

The vehicle itself is in many ways identical to the current Prius, except with a 5.2 kWh lithium ion battery pack in place of the nickel metal hydride unit. In addition, the car gets the necessary charging hardware. Toyota claims the Prius PHV will be able to recharge fully in just 100 minutes from a 200 V outlet or in three hours from a 100 V outlet.

Toyota claims the Prius PHV will be capable of 134 mpg, although that assumes almost 50 percent of the driving is done in pure electric mode. The car is capable of traveling 14.3 miles on pure electric power and can reach speeds of 62 mph in pure electric mode.

Inside the Prius PHV will get a new PHV screens in the Navigation and Eco-Drive Monitor areas, including the range possible in EV mode.

Retail sales are set of late in 2011 and Toyota has said the car will be a “reasonable” price.

GALLERY: Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid

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Official release after the jump:

Continue Reading…

LA Preview: Prius PHV Concept Set to Plug-In at Los Angeles Auto Show

Toyota expected to announce delivery of first Prius PHV models to customers

 |  Nov 25 2009, 4:21 PM

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After first debuting in Frankfurt and then traveling to Tokyo, the Prius Plug-In Hybrid Concept is set debut on U.S. soil for the first time at the LA Auto Show next week.

Using Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive and lithium-ion batteries, Toyota says the Prius PHV will be able to reach highway speeds on pure electric power. Toyota also claims the car will be able to recharge fully in 90 minutes using a conventional household outlet.

The car has a zero-emissions electric mode that will allow it to travel up to 12 miles before the gasoline engine kicks in. This is considerably less than the Volt’s 40 mile claim.

Toyota has announced that some time in 2009 it will deliver 500 Prius PHV vehicles, 150 of which will be sold in the United States. It is expected that with only one month left for the year, delivery of those 150 vehicles will be announced at the LA Auto Show.

See AutoGuide’s Live 2009 LA Auto Show Coverage Here Starting December 2nd

GALLERY: Toyota Prius PHV Concept Debut in Frankfurt

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 |  Sep 10 2009, 11:09 AM

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After much speculation, Toyota has finally confirmed that a concept version of the Prius Plug-In Hybrid will appear at the Frankfurt Auto Show next week.

Designed to take on the Chevy Volt, there is no word on when full public sales of the Prius PHV start, while the Volt is scheduled for sale in early 2011. “Although we like to be first to market with these technologies, it’s more important that we are best to market,” said Irv Miller, TMS group vice president, environmental and public affairs. “This demonstration program will ensure that the vehicles we bring to market will not just meet customer expectations, but exceed them.”

As for the numbers, they don’t sound all that competitive, with an expected electric-only range of 12 miles, as opposed to the 40 miles claimed by General Motors. Using Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive and lithium-ion batteries, Toyota says the Prius PHV will be able to reach highway speeds on pure electric power. Engineers at the Japanese automaker are also looking beyond lithium batteries for future energy solutions.

Later this year Toyota will deliver 500 Prius PHV vehicles, 150 of which will be sold in the United States.

Official release after the jump:

Continue Reading…