2017 Toyota Prius Prime
Toyota boasts that the Prius Prime can go more than 600 miles on a charge and a full tank; and it claims that its 120+ MPGe (final rating yet to come) efficiency rating will be the best of any plug-in hybrid.
It also suggests that the Prius Prime, with its 22-mile range, could get more than 50 percent of Americans to work and back home without using gasoline. With workplace charging that proportion goes up to 80 percent.
To that, Toyota has partnered with Chargepoint, with a set of Prius Prime Apps for charging and location-based services that will be tied into that public-charging network—although Toyota hasn’t yet announced the financial terms of the arrangement.
For now, what Plug-In owners wanted—but room to grow
For the most part, the Prime yields the doubled range that Prius Plug-In owners have requested—for years. Only it’s a bit overdue, and we’re approaching a time when around 30 miles (50 kilometers, as some regulation already dictates) is the new norm.
That could be on the way. At this point, a larger battery capacity would mean an even higher floor; although Toyoshima conceded that within a few years—perhaps at a mid-cycle for the model—increased power density could allow a new pack that might increase range without packaging sacrifices.
2015 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid
Toyoshima also confirmed that the modified “Prime” version of Hybrid Synergy Drive has been engineered for use across the entire portfolio of vehicles that use the automaker’s new modular TNGA architecture—slated to underpin nearly every front-wheel-drive-based sedan, hatchback, and crossover in the automaker’s lineup, from Yaris up to Avalon, within a few years.
Toyota plans to sell about 20,000 Prius Prime models in the U.S. annually, and it aims to sell the model in an expanded range of global vehicle markets. And yes, it would be a very safe bet that there are other Prime models on the way.
Keep up to date on all the latest photos and announcements by visiting our New York Auto Show news page.
**NOTE: This story was updated to reflect a translation error; there are indeed cooling fans for the battery pack. As for the unlikely 95-kW and 68-kW EV mode output figures quoted in the original version of this story, Toyota will neither confirmed nor deny them outside of our interview—but we expect official, extensive U.S. specs later this summer.