Ready to make its debut next week at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the new Plug-In Prius from Toyota is sure to draw a lot of eager show goers its way.

Toyota has officially released several vital statistics pertaining to this Prius PHEV including a first look into the expected emissions and ability to operate in electric only mode.

According to Toyota, the Prius PHEV with its upgraded hybrid synergy drive system powered by lithium-ion batteries rather than the NiMH batteries of the standard Prius will capably reach speeds of up to 62 mph on electricity alone.  It has the ability to sustain this speed for up to 12.5 miles.  Additionally, the vehicle will be capable of accelerating up to this speed from a standing start without using its gasoline engine, though Toyota makes no mention of how long it will take to reach 62 mph in full EV mode.

The emission numbers released for the PHEV Prius are based on the EU driving cycle.  Based on this cycle, the vehicle emits only 60 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer driven.  The posted numbers are in the preliminary stages at this point and could change as the vehicle enters production.

Though Toyota is still speechless regarding the exact capacity of the lithium-ion battery, they have confirmed that the battery will be able to fully charge in a little over an hour and a half using a 230 volt supply.

The PHEV Prius is not scheduled for a full scale release until 2012, but 500 units will find there way into select fleets in Japan, Europe, and the U.S. later this year.

Source: Toyota Press Release


10 September 2009


CO2 emissions cut to less than 60g/km


  • New Prius Plug-in Hybrid Concept reinforces Toyota's progress towards the ultimate eco-car
  • Lithium-ion battery technology allows for compact packaging and quick recharging
  • Rechargeable from domestic power supply or public charging point in around an hour-and-a-half
  • Extended EV (electric) driving mode of up to 12.5 miles at speeds up to 62mph
  • Over longer distances, Prius Plug-in switches to conventional petrol-electric full hybrid operation
  • CO2 emissions cut to less than 60g/km
  • Toyota to launch global lease programme to evaluate Prius Plug-in in early 2010

Toyota is unveiling a new Prius Plug-in Hybrid Concept at the Frankfurt motor show, signalling further progress towards its ambition of building the ultimate eco-car.

Presentation of the new concept comes ahead of a test programme that will see more than 500 cars leased to customers worldwide for real-world evaluation of performance and monitoring of driver attitudes and experiences.

Using lithium-ion batteries, the Prius Plug-in Hybrid provides clean, fuel-efficient electric-powered running in urban areas for longer distances and at higher speeds than the conventional, third generation full hybrid Prius. Over longer distances, or when the limit of battery power is reached, the system automatically shifts to conventional petrol power. Advanced battery technology allows for full recharging in around an hour and a half and the extended EV capability brings CO2 emissions down to around 60g/km.

The plug-in hybrid concept

Europe's population is increasingly urban-centred and Toyota research into commuting patterns shows that in the UK and France, more than 80 per cent of car journeys cover a distance of less than 25km; in the UK around 80 per cent are less than 10km long. These figures confirm the potential for electricity in providing short to mid-term sustainable mobility.

The environmental benefits of electric cars for urban commuting are well-documented, but vehicle development has been hampered by the drawbacks of the weight, size and cost of the large capacity batteries needed to provide even a modest driving range, and the lack of an adequate recharging infrastructure.

Toyota is addressing both these issues with the launch of the Prius Plug-in Hybrid Concept. It believes that progress in battery technology makes plug-in hybrid architecture the most workable solution for an electrified powertrain. The system overcomes the issue of a limited cruising range by enabling an automatic switch to a traditional full hybrid petrol-electric system once the vehicle reaches the limit of its EV (electric vehicle) driving range.

The concept model is a development of the new, third generation Prius, and builds on the core technology of Hybrid Synergy Drive specifically to meet the needs of urban motorists. It is a full hybrid vehicle in which both the electric motor and petrol engine can drive the wheels: a fully electric EV mode is used for shorter distances, while the petrol engine provides a true long-range capability.

As well as avoiding the limited range traditionally associated with electric vehicles, Toyota has also achieved a compact and practical packaging design for the battery pack. Prius Plug-in can be also be quickly recharged, from a conventional household electricity point, or a public charging post.

More than 500 Prius Plug-in cars will be released around the world early next year for lease programme, with more than 150 of these on the road in Europe. This will let Toyota evaluate all the technical aspects of the new model in a real-world environment, an essential step in preparing the vehicle for a potential market launch. The lease programme will also yield valuable intelligence on market response and which characteristics drivers find appealing, and why.


The Prius Plug-in Concept's powertrain is similar in format to the Hybrid Synergy Drive used in the new Prius, but with the nickel-metal hydride battery pack replaced by a new, high-output lithium-ion battery – a first for a Toyota hybrid vehicle. The new battery is more compact and has a higher volumetric energy density, so it does not compromise vehicle weight and packaging. Perhaps more importantly, it can be recharged much more quickly than the nickel-metal hydride type: the battery in the Prius Plug-in can be fully recharged in one-and-a-half hours from a 230v power supply.

The battery allows strong, seamless acceleration up to a maximum 62mph (100km/h) in EV mode. On a full charge, it can cover approximately 12.5miles (20km) in EV mode, six miles further than the nickel-metal hydride battery in the latest Prius model. Over longer distances, the car operates as a regular full hybrid.

The car's extended EV performance has a significant impact on emissions, with CO2output dropping to less than 60g/km and, as with other full hybrid models, reduced NOx and particulates (PM) levels. Even greater CO2 savings can also be gained if the electricity used to charge the battery is drawn from renewable sources, such as windmills and solar panels. Simply put, the lower the percentage of energy derived from fossil fuels, the better the car's well-to-wheel CO2 performance.


The Prius Plug-in Concept is every bit as comfortable, convenient and practical as the latest generation Prius. As in its sister model, the air conditioning can be activated remotely, when the vehicle is plugged, enabling the cabin to be brought to the right temperature before setting off.

To help drivers maximise the benefits of driving in EV mode, it is equipped with a Hybrid System Indicator, which includes information on the EV driving range, based on the level of battery charge. An engine starting point display has also been added to emphasise the increase in EV driving range.

The Electro Multi-Vision screen on the dashboard also offers a display that highlights the plug-in hybrid's contribution to reducing CO2 emissions, showing a computer graphic image of single tree that gradually increases to whole forest as the battery charging process takes place.

As a significant development in environmentally responsible mobility, the Prius Plug-in Hybrid Concept offers commuters and people who live in urban areas all the benefits of an electric vehicle, with none of the drawbacks.

Outline technical specifications

Displacement (cc)


Max. power (bhp @ rpm)

97 @ 4,000

Max. torque (Nm @ rpm)

142 @ 4,000


Permanent magnet synchronous motor

Max. output (bhp)


Max. torque (Nm)




EV cruising range (miles)


Recharging time (min) 100V

180 (target)


100 (target)

CO2 (g/km)


Overall length (mm)


Overall width (mm)


Overall height (mm)



1. Fuel consumption and CO2 values are measured in a controlled environment, in accordance with the requirements of Directive 80/1268/EEC, including its amendments, on a basic production vehicle. For more information about the basic production vehicle, please contact the Toyota press office.

2. The fuel consumption and CO2 values of your vehicle may very from those measured. Driving behaviour, as well as other factors (such as road conditions, traffic, vehicle conditions, installed equipment, load, number of passenger, etc) play a role in determining a car's fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.