A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...
In fact, not that long ago, and right here on earth, a rebel alliance of green-minded folk were attracted to the force of hybrid vehicles.
Using less fuel and producing less pollution, the oil empire has never been quite the same since. We're not sure the Death Star has quite been destroyed yet, but they've definitely lost a few imperial ships.
Our newest hope is the 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In hybrid, and Toyota in Japan has found just the droids it was looking for to sell it--C3PO and R2D2.
We join C3PO--quite impressively, even campier in Japanese than he is in English--looking puzzled as he holds a charging plug.
"What's this? R2, is this your charger?"
"Bee-boo wheeeeeee!" responds everyone's favorite futuristic trashcan. "No? Then whose..." says C3PO, just as the Prius plug-in rolls into view. "Ah, I get it!"
As we all know, the Prius plug-in takes the regular Prius's hybrid technology one step further, with drivers able to plug-in at home for an extra few miles of electric range. A charge from empty takes around three hours, and that's enough for six miles of all-electric range up to 62 mph, or a blended range--i.e. electricity and gasoline--of 11 miles, according to the EPA sticker.
"You wanna recharge too?" Asks C3PO. "Beeoooo wheep!", R2 replies. "Okay, me too!"
"Okay, done recharging! Shall we drive somewhere?"
"Bzzz-boop woowwwwzzzzz", says R2.
"Your hometown? That's too far, the batteries won't last!" says C3PO, surprised. Clearly, he's not spent as much time on GreenCarReports as R2D2, who confidently replies, "Beepzoo".
For those who don't speak robot, the announcer helps us all out. Once the Prius plug-in runs out of electricity, it carries on as normal, just as you might in a non plug-in Prius. Total EPA range is 540 miles, with overall efficiency of 50 mpg, and as much as 95 MPGe over the first 11 miles.
That may not be enough to do the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs, but it's longer than the constantly-fretful C3PO can manage on a charge.
"I'm more worried about our batteries running down!", he says...
Our sincere thanks to Renfield Kuroda and Kevin Beck, who translated the ad, and Lee Guzofski, who connected us to Ren and Beck. We tip our hat to you all!