Until now we weren’t overly impressed with Toyota’s idea for a plug-in Prius hybrid, along the lines of the Chevy Volt. There’s still a lot we don’t know (including, hopefully, a lower price point), but today at the Frankfurt Auto Show, Toyota announced that the Prius Plug-In Hybrid Concept would be able to recharge fully in just 90 minutes - using a conventional household outlet.
The car has a zero-emissions electric mode that will allow it to travel up to 12 miles before the gasoline engine kicks in. This is considerably less than the Volt’s 40 mile claim.
Using Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive and lithium-ion batteries, Toyota says the Prius PHV will be able to reach highway speeds on pure electric power. Engineers at the Japanese automaker are also looking beyond lithium batteries for future energy solutions.
Later this year Toyota will deliver 500 Prius PHV vehicles, 150 of which will be sold in the United States.
In Europe Toyota is looking to start raming up interest in its hybrid models and start a new program called “2010 Toyota Drive,” which will get potential customers into Toyota products.