A long time ago, Toyota Motor Corporation has started its green thinking trend with hybrid cars which revolutionized fuel consumption. Now they found a way to combine electric vehicles with hybrid ones and they presented their concept just days before the Tokyo Motor Show.
Thought to be an ideal combination (EV-electric vehicle + HV-hybrid vehicle) the Prius plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) now has a lithium-ion battery pack that can be charged from an external power source such as household electricity. This type of battery, compared to the nickel-metal hydride one, can be charged many times and has an extended life time guarantee.
Making a comparison between the third-generation of Prius with the Prius Plug-in Hybrid Concept, the consumption per liter decreased (38km/l, respectively 55km/l). Charging the battery from an external power source, the mileage in electric vehicle mode is also increased, meaning that the environmental benefits to the regular Prius are surpassed. In other words CO2 emission decreased as fossil fuel consumption is decreased. Charging time for the electric vehicle is about 180min at 100V and 100min at 200V allowing a cruise range of about 20km. It’s not much, but if you consider making short trips like going to work or to the market this is in most cases very efficient. For longer trips you can rely on the hybrid vehicle.
I just hope to see more of these new concepts in the Tokyo Motor Show this year. I am still fascinated about the fact that electric and hybrid power developed so much, so quickly.