Toyota Prius is pretty much the beginning of hybrid car revolution when it was launched in 1997 and rather was very ahead of its time. The 2019 edition has been introduced with trim upgrades and it now allows five people in. Toyota says that the plug-in version offers two cars in one - a full hybrid powertrain achieving low emissions of 1,3 l/100km and 28g/km CO2 (WLTP cycle) while at the same time offering an all-electric EV driving experience with an EV range up to 45 km in real-life with a max RV speed of 135 km/h.
Ultra-low emissions and specific EV driving capabilities of the Prius Plug-in comes from technologies unique in Toyota’s model line-up. The Prius Plug-in is equipped with a heat pump, which utilises heat from the air outside of the car, resulting in an increased level of efficiency compared to traditional heaters which generate heat from the engine or to power electric heaters.
In addition, during charging, the battery warming system will warm the cells to an efficient working temperature, this ensures that both battery power and efficiency are maintained at a sufficient level to minimise the impact of cold weather on EV driving range. Also new for the 2019 Prius PHEV is the Galaxy Black Metallic exterior color and optional 17’’ alloy wheels.
Finally, the large solar panel, which generates electricity to charge the hybrid system battery still remains unique in the segment. Depending on weather conditions, solar charging can increase the EV driving range by up to 5 km per day, equating to some 1,000 km of all-electric driving per annum. Since its launch in September 2016, over 1,700 Prius Plug-in Hybrids have been sold with solar panel, which now represents roughly 1,700,000 km per annum generated by the sun.
The New Prius Plug-in Hybrid has much-improved functionality, now includes seating for 5 passengers, changing from the rear two-seat configuration to a third middle seat, whilst delivering high levels of comfort.
Earlier this year, there were several reports suggesting that Toyota Hybrid Hatch might be ready to hang up its hybrid tool belt, with the company planning to pull the plug on the brand in 2020. Although it won’t be a swap, those looking for an electrified hybrid then can opt instead for the 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid which will not only have more space and power but will be even more fuel-efficient than the Prius.