Toyota has introduced the redesigned Prius PHV in Japan that boasts an EV mode range of 68.2km, more than double that of its predecessor. New equipment has been added and charging convenience has been greatly improved, thus evolving the new Prius PHV into a prime vehicle.
In January 2012, Toyota launched the Prius PHV with the goal of promoting vehicle electrification. To date, sales of the Prius PHV have totaled approximately 22,000 units in Japan, and approximately 75,000 units worldwide, including the U.S. and Europe. With the latest model that has a range of 68.2 kilometers on EV mode, Toyota expects to sell up to 60,000 Prius PHV worldwide a year, with more than half of the sales coming from Japan.
In terms of its overall looks, the PHV new sharp futuristic front face has been made possible with a large grille featuring clear acrylic resin and quad LED headlights. The headlights are equipped with the Adaptive High-beam System, which recognizes other vehicles, based on the taillights of the vehicle ahead and the headlights of on-coming vehicles, and shields them from the high-beam light by controlling the light-projection areas using 16 LEDs located on the left and right sides finely.
The rear design is a distinctive feature of the Prius PHV, which includes the “double-bubble” glass in the rear window, high-mount brake lights connected by a single red line, and rear combination lamps.
For the first time in a Toyota brand vehicle, the rear hatch uses Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastics (CFRP), which significantly reduce the vehicle’s overall weight.
The PHV is powered by the same inline 4-cylinder 1.8-litre engine producing 98PS and 142Nm of torque. Dual electric motors then come into play, one producing 72PS and 163Nm while the other generating 31PS and 40Nm of torque. One can push the car to 135 km/h in EV mode; the other makes electricity.
Standard charging uses a standard household outlet and it therefore requires no special wiring. It takes approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes to fully charge the vehicle via AC100V/6A outlet, or 14 hours using 100V/6A outlet. Quick charging takes approximately 20 minutes for 80% charge.
The Prius PHV features the world’s first “solar charging system” in mass-produced cars. This system supplies energy from sunlight to the traction battery while the vehicle is parked, supplying the amount of electricity sufficient for driving the vehicle a maximum of around 6.1 km/day (approximately 2.9 km/day on average). While the vehicle is being driven, this system helps to improve fuel efficiency by recharging the auxiliary battery.
When the newly added EV Power Supply Mode has been selected, the vehicle’s external electrical power supply function can supply household electricity without the engine being turned on. In addition, when the HV Power Supply Mode has been selected, the Prius PHV (with the engine running) can supply electricity for about 2 days at a maximum output level of 1,500W, when starting with a full tank of petrol. The Prius PHV thus helps to support Toyota’s disaster recovery support activities.
Aside from that, the Toyota-first 11.6-inch T-Connect SD navigation system and DCM, which are standard (except in the S grade), improves visibility and operability. Additionally, the diverse T-Connect DCM Package connected vehicle service, is provided free of charge for the first 3 three years of vehicle purchase.
Other features provided include, the e-Care, where service operators and dealers can send appropriate advice based on information transmitted from the vehicle should a warning light come on, as well as the Pocket PHV smartphone application which are exclusively for PHVs, enabling users to remotely check and control vehicle charging, operate the air conditioner, and search for charging stations.
Safety wise, Toyota Safety Sense P, a collision avoidance assist package, is offered as standard in all grades. The Prius PHV has achieved Advanced Safety Vehicle (ASV) – the highest rating in the Japan New Car Assessment Program (JNCAP), and the 5 Star Award – the highest ranking in the JNCAP’s new overall evaluation for vehicle safety.
The Toyota Prius PHV is now available at all Toyota, Toyopet, Toyota Corolla and Netz dealers in Japan and retails from 3,261,600 Yen (approx. RM127,000) to 4,222,800 Yen (appox. RM165,000).