Transportation / Mobility

April 18, 2012


Toyota Introduces the First Mass-Produced Plug-In Hybrid Vehicle in Japan

Keywords: Eco-business / Social Venture Environmental Technology Manufacturing industry Transportation / Mobility 

On January 30, 2012, Toyota Motor Corp. introduced the Prius Plug-in Hybrid, a new plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHV) to Japanese consumers. It is the first mass-produced PHV in the Japanese market. PHVs feature high-capacity batteries that allow them to travel much longer distances exclusively on electric power, while they can also operate in charge-sustaining mode, using the gasoline engine and electric motor together just like conventional hybrid cars, without running out of electric charge. PHVs reduce gasoline consumption and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

PHVs utilize smaller, high-performance lithium-ion batteries instead of the nickel metal hydride batteries used in the standard Prius model. The batteries are high capacity, allowing PHVs to run 26.4 kilometers solely on electricity. PHVs can thus serve more practically as an electric vehicle, as a government survey showed that more than half of drivers travel 25 kilometers or less a day.

It is also a great advantage that the vehicle's battery can be recharged with household electricity, and it takes only around 90 minutes using a 200 volt power source to fully charge the battery. Once PHVs exhaust all of the electricity stored in the battery, they automatically switch to charge-sustaining mode, which provides long-distance driving capability without any worry about the availability of charging stations and low battery charge.

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Posted: 2012/04/18 06:00:15 AM