Feeds
95%
Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid car

Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid car review

A huge leap forward for the world's most popular hybrid

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Extended electric-only driving range has been a long time coming to hybrid cars but with the arrival of the Vauxhall Ampera and now Toyota’s Prius Plug-in the breed may finally shake off the reputation of vehicles that only exist because Americans don’t like diesels.

Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid car

The mains attraction: Toyota's Prius Plug-in Hybrid

In a nutshell what we have here is a Toyota Prius with a larger battery pack that extends the electric-only range from just over one mile at speeds below 31mph to more than 15 miles at up to 51mph. Realistically, those 15 miles could cover typical daily tootling around for urbanites.

If you need more range, as suggested by the name, charging the traction battery can now be done from a power socket as well as from regenerative braking and the petrol engine. Mechanically the plug-in Prius is near enough identical to the standard car. Under the bonnet is a 98bhp (73kW) 1.8L Atkinson cycle VVT-i petrol engine mated to a CVT gearbox and a 60Kw (80bhp) electric motor.

Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid car

Note the charge socket cover – petrol goes in the other side

It’s the type of battery that has changed. Out goes the 1.31kWh nickel-metal hydride pack and in its place is a 56-cell 4.4kWh lithium-ion unit. The new battery is 38kg heavier, a significant portion of the car’s 55kg overall weight increase. It's bigger too but you only lose 3 litres of luggage space.

Charging the battery is a simple matter of grabbing the cable out of the boot cubby and plugging it into a wall socket. A full charge never took longer than 2 hours and worked perfectly well using the 13amp 3-pin socket in my hallway and an extension cable.

Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid car

Warning: charge points like this are still rather scarce

There’s a practical consideration here too: As it can be charged in such a short time, I could juice it up without leaving it plugged in overnight and risking someone stealing the charge cable. Toyota recommends using a custom socket in a wall box and has partnered with British Gas to instal them and specifically advises against using extension cables but as I say, it worked just fine for me.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Next page: Cabin cruise

More from The Register

next story
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS
Your brother's gonna die, kid, unless we can give him your, well ...
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Simon's says quantum computing will work
Boffins blast algorithm with half a dozen qubits
LIFE, JIM? Comet probot lander found 'ORGANICS' on far-off iceball
That's it for God, then – if Comet 67P has got complex molecules
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.