Detroit Auto Show: Toyota Prius Plug-In

While several new Prius vehicles revealed by Toyota at the North American International Auto Show were variations on the familiar Prius theme, the company also played an original song: It showed a Prius with a plug.

Toyota said the Prius Plug-in can go about 13 miles, and up to speeds of 60 mph, on a compact lithium-ion battery (as opposed to the usual Prius nickel metal hydride battery). Using a standard household outlet the battery will receive a full charge in three hours; with a 220-volt setup the time is reduced to 1.7 hours, the company said.

Toyota Prius Plug-in

image via Toyota

How does 13 miles compare to, say, the Chevy Volt? Not very well, actually. GM’s extended-range electric vehicle can go around 40 miles before the battery gives up the ghost and a gasoline-powered engine takes over. On the flip side, however, it becomes like a regular Prius, meaning you get some of the best gas mileage of any car today.

Toyota said it expects the Plug-in Prius – 150 of which are being tested in demonstration programs around the country today – to make it to market in the first half of 2012.

Like what you are reading? Follow us on RSS, Twitter and Facebook to learn more and join the green technology discussion. Have a story idea or correction for this story? Drop us a line through our contact form.

Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.

Be first to comment