Latest version of petrol/electric hybrid can be charged using your home supply so that it runs further on its batteries
Toyota has announced a new version of its petrol/electric hybrid car, the Prius, that can be ‘topped up’ using an ordinary home socket.
This is a first for the company and for the UK. It means that drivers can travel further using the car’s electric motor – but, of course, still rely on the car’s petrol engine to help get them home once the batteries are drained. It will also help to recharge the batteries, just as it ds in the current car. The new car, the Prius plug-in hybrid, will have CO2 emissions of just 59g/km, which is 30g/km lower than the standard Prius.
At the heart of the new car are lithium-ion batteries, a first for Toyota. The company plans to build 600 cars which will be offered across Europe, the US and Japan. Some 20 will make it to the UK, to be leased to government departments, universities, local councils and power companies.
If such trials prove the car’s worth, Toyota promises that it will mass-produce the vehicles within two years. The plug-in Prius looks the same as the car currently on sale, except that it will have a flap set into the nearside wing, under which hides the plug-in socket. It can connect to any regular 13-amp plug.