- Toyota Prius
manufacturer=Toyota Motor Corporation
Honda Civic Hybrid
The Toyota Prius [ˈpri.əs] is a hybrid electric
mid-size cardeveloped and manufactured by the Toyota Motor Corporation.
The Prius first went on sale in
Japanin 1997, making it the first mass-produced hybrid vehicle. It was subsequently introduced worldwide in 2001. The Prius is sold in more than 40 countries and regions, with its largest markets being those of Japan and North America.cite press release |title=Worldwide Prius Sales Top 1 Million |publisher=Toyota Motor Corporation |date= 2008-05-15|url=http://www.toyota.co.jp/en/news/08/0515.html |accessdate=2008-05-29]
According to the
United States Environmental Protection Agency, the 2008 Prius is the most fuel efficient car sold in the U.S. The UK Department for Transport also reported the Prius is tied as the third least CO2-emitting vehicle on sale in the UK.cite web |title=Best on CO2 rankings |publisher=UK Department for Transport |url=http://www.dft.gov.uk/ActOnCO2/index.php?q=best_on_co2_rankings |accessdate=2008-05-30]
1997–2000 (model NHW10)
Infobox Automobile generation
Honda Civic Hybrid
Motomachi, Japancite web |title=Hybrids Can Be Cheap to Make, Toyota Says |author=Chang-Ran Kim |url=http://ran.org/media_center/news_article/?uid=833 |date= 2003-10-02|publisher=Rainforest Action Network |accessdate=2008-05-30]
engine=Toyota Hybrid System
Gasoline: 1.5 L
43 kW (58 hp) @ 4000 rpm
102 N·m (75 lb·ft) @ 4000 rpm
Electric: 288 V motor
30 kW (40 hp) @ 940 rpm
305 N·m (225 lb·ft) @ 0 rpm
length=4275 mm (168.3 in)
width=1694 mm (66.7 in)
height=1491 mm (58.7 in)
wheelbase=2550 mm (100.4 in)The first Prius, model NHW10, went on sale in December 1997. [Taylor, A., [http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2006/03/06/8370702/index.htm Birth of the Prius] , Fortune,
February 24, 2006. Retrieved 2007-12-19.] It was sold only in Japan, though it has been imported privately to the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. [ [http://www.cleangreencar.co.nz/page/prius-history Prius Model History] , Clean Green Car Company. Retrieved 2007-12-19.] Many of these cars are now being exported as second-hand vehicles to New Zealand and other countries. [ [http://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/SearchResults.aspx?sort_order=default&searchstring=prius+199*¤t=0 Recent sales of Generation 1 Prius in New Zealand] - TradeMe]
2001–2003 (model NHW11)
Infobox Automobile generation
assembly=Toyota City (Motomachi),
engine=Toyota Hybrid System
Gasoline: 1.5 L
52 kW (70 hp) @ 4500 rpm
110 N·m (82 lb·ft) @ 4200 rpm
Electric: 273.6 V motor
33 kW (44 hp) @ 1040 rpm
350 N·m (258 lb·ft) @ 0 rpm
length=4308 mm (169.6 in)
width=1694 mm (66.7 in)
height=1463 mm (57.6 in)
weight=1254.2 kg (2765 lb)
wheelbase=2550 mm (100.4 in)
transmission=1-speed planetary gear The 2001–2003 Prius for the United States market was powered by a 1.5-liter 4 cylindercite web |title=2001 Toyota Prius Review Summary |publisher=Source Interlink Media |work=Internet Auto Guide.com |url=http://www.internetautoguide.com/reviews/09-int/2001/toyota/prius/summary.html |accessdate=2008-05-30] gasoline engine, a permanent magnet AC electric motor, and a 274-volt nickel-metal hydride (Ni-MH) battery pack. The gasoline engine developed convert|70|hp|abbr=on and convert|82|ft.lbf|N.m|abbr=on of torque. The electric motor generated a maximum of convert|44|hp|abbr=on and convert|258|ft.lbf|N.m|abbr=on of torque. Japanese versions were less powerful. [Russ, C., [http://www.theautochannel.com/vehicles/new/reviews/2001/russ0041.html Toyota Pruis (2001)] , The Auto Channel. Retrieved 2007-12-20.]
The engine and motor power were increased over the previous model.Air conditioning and a continuously variable transmission were standard equipment. [ [http://www.cartalk.com/content/testdrives/Reviews/toyota-prius-2001.html Test Drive Notes: Toyota Prius 2001] , Car Talk. Retrieved
In the United States, the NHW11 was the first Prius to be sold. The Prius was marketed between the smaller Echo and the larger Corolla. The published retail price of the car was US$19,995. [ [http://www.internetautoguide.com/reviews/09-int/2001/toyota/prius/lineup.html 2001 Toyota Prius Lineup] , Internet Autoguide. Retrieved 2007-12-20.] The
California Air Resources Board(CARB) classified the car as a Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle(SULEV). [Adams, M., [http://www.electrifyingtimes.com/ev1crush.html Why is GM Crushing its EV-1's?] , Electrifying Times, December 2, 2001. Retrieved 2007-12-20.]
European sales began in September 2000. [Tsukada, M., [http://www2.aia.pref.aichi.jp/voice/no13/13_cutting_edge.html Aichi's Artisanship in the Auto Industry] , Aichi Voice (Cutting Edge). ]
The official launch of the Prius in Australia occurred in 2001 after the Sydney Motor Show. [ [http://www.caradvice.com.au/1697/more-toyota-prius-coming-to-australia/ More Toyota Priuses Coming to Australia] , Australian Car Advice,
March 1, 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-20.]
2004–2009 (model NHW20)
Infobox Automobile generation
Japan(Toyota City) Kariya, Aichi, Japan Blue Springs, Mississippi(beginning in fall 2010)
Toyota Hybrid System II
Gasoline: 1.5 L
57 kW (76 hp) @ 5000 rpm
115 N·m (85 lb·ft) @ 4200 rpm
Electric: 500 V
50 kW (67 hp) @ 1200 rpm
400 N·m (295 lb·ft) @ 0 rpm
Net power: 110 hp (82 kW)
length=4450 mm (175.33 in)
width=1725 mm (67.97 in)
height=1490 mm (58.71 in)
weight=1325 kg (2921 lb)
transmission=1-speed planetary gear
wheelbase=2700 mm (106.3 in)The Prius was completely redesigned into a mid-size liftback which is between the Corolla and the Camry in size. The new model is convert|6|in|mm longer than the previous version. [ [http://www.motortrend.com/oftheyear/car/112_04_coy_win/interior.html Motor Trend 2004 Car of the Year Winner: Toyota Prius] , Motor Trend. Retrieved 2007-12-21.] Its more aerodynamic body resulted in a
drag coefficientof 0.26.cite web |title=Motor Trend 2004 Car of the Year Winner: Toyota Prius |publisher=Source Interlink Media |work=MotorTrend Magazine |url=http://www.motortrend.com/oftheyear/car/112_04_coy_win |accessdate=2008-05-30]
Hybrid Synergy Drive(HSD) uses an all-electric compressor for cooling. Combined with a smaller and lighter NiMH battery, the NHW20 is more powerful and more efficient than the NHW11. [ [http://www.cartalk.com/content/testdrives/Reviews/toyota-prius-2004.html Test Drive Notes: 2004 Toyota Prius] , Car Talk. Retrieved 2007-12-21.] Air conditioning is now operated independently of the gasoline engine, an industry first. [Bowden, R. (2004), [http://cars.about.com/cs/testdrives/fr/prius_tst.htm 2004 Toyota Prius] , About. Retrieved 2007-12-21.] In the U.S., the battery pack of the 2004 Prius is warranted for convert|100000|mi or 8 years, although Toyota has stated that they expect it to last 15 years. The warranty is instead convert|150000|mi or 10 years [cite web | title = Car Talk Bulletin Boards: Prius Battery | url = http://cartalk.com/board/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=198901&an=0&page=18] for Prius in California, and in the seven Northeastern states that have adopted the stricter California emission control standards.
It is classified as a
SULEV(Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle) and is certified by California Air Resources Boardas an "Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emission Vehicle" (AT- PZEV). [ [http://www.motortrend.com/oftheyear/car/112_04_coy_win/handling.html Motor Trend 2004 Car of the Year Winner: Toyota Prius] , Motor Trend. Retrieved 2007-12-21.]
NHTSA (United States) crash testing of the 2004 Prius yielded a five star driver and four star passenger rating in the frontal collision test (out of five stars). Side crash results were four out of five stars for both front and rear seats. The car scored four out of five stars in rollover testing. [cite web | title = 2004 Toyota Prius 4-DR |url = http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/ncap/cars/2971.html]
EuroNCAPtested the Prius. It earned the following ratings:Adult Occupant: rating|5|5Child Occupant: rating|4|4Pedestrian: rating|2|2. [cite web
Among the Prius' options are Toyota's implementation of an
advanced keycalled Smart Key System or SKS (the feature can be user-deactivated), DVD navigation on the MFD, vehicle stability control and Bluetoothfor hands-free calling.The 2006 model introduced some minor cosmetic changes, such as a higher-resolution liquid crystal display, as well as new optional features such as a rear-view camera, advanced airbags and an upgraded audio system with an auxiliary input.The 2007 Prius adds advanced and side-curtain airbags standard on all models. A Touring Edition was introduced that includes an elongated larger rear spoiler as well as larger, sharper-pointed 7-spoke 16" alloy wheels with plastic hub cap cover to protect it from scratches when parking against the curb. The Touring Edition also comes with a firmer European style tuned suspension, standard high-intensity-discharge (HID) headlights and integrated (non-HID) fog lights.
Automated parallel and reverse parking is available in Japan and Europe. [cite web |title = Look, no hands! New Toyota parks itself | url = http://www.cnn.com/2004/TECH/ptech/01/15/car.selfpark.ap/index.html]
Production of the Prius for the Chinese market began in December 2005 by
Sichuan FAW Toyota Motor, a joint venturewith First Automobile Works.
In 1994, Toyota executive Takeshi Uchiyamada was given the task of creating a new car which would be both fuel efficient and environmentally friendly. [ [http://www.eetimes.com/disruption/profiles/uchiyamada.jhtml Innovator Profiles-Takeshi Uchiyamada - EE Times] ] After reviewing over 100 hybrid designs, the engineering team settled on a hybrid engine design based on a 1974 TRW patent, but many technical and engineering problems had to be solved within the three years that the team was given to bring the car to the Japanese market, a goal they barely achieved as the first Prius went on sale in December 1997. A main problem was the longevity of the battery, which needed to last between 7 and 10 years. The solution the engineers came up with was to keep the battery pack between 60% and 40% charged, proving to be the "sweet spot" for extending the battery life to roughly that of the other car components. [ [http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/25/automobiles/autospecial/25battery.html Still Miles to Go for the Plug-In Vehicle - New York Times ] ]
The car was a modest success in Japan and after gathering several years of test data from the Japanese early adopters, the company felt it was safe to put it on sale in the U.S. and European markets in 2001. Sales were limited and customer waiting lists of up to 6 months were common during the first few years. In 2004, a complete redesign, increased production, and soaring fuel prices led to significant increases in sales.Fact|date=July 2008
The word prius is a Latin word meaning " [to go] before."cite web | title = intertran.com | url = http://www.tranexp.com:2000/InterTran?url=http%3A%2F%2F&type=text&text=prius&from=ltt&to=eng InterTran Translation Latin to English translation.] A Toyota spokesman stated that "Toyota chose this name because the Prius vehicle is the predecessor of cars to come."cite web | title = boston.com Brainiac | url = http://www.boston.com/news/globe/ideas/brainiac/2007/03/the_plurals_of.html]
Prius is not a verb but a Latin
comparative adjectiveor adverb, the neuter nominativesingular form of the adjective whose corresponding masculine and feminine nominative singular forms are prior [See for example — Keller, A. and Russell, S., "Learn to Read Latin". New Haven, London:Yale University Press, 2004, p.279.}] (see also Latin declension - Irregular adverbs and their comparative and superlative forms) with meanings "ahead, in front, leading; previous, earlier, preceding, prior; former; basic". [cite web | title = Words by William Whitaker | url = http://www.archives.nd.edu/cgi-bin/words.exe?prior] Some enthusiasts enjoy using Prii as the plural, which would be correct if prius were a regular second declension Latin noun. The actual Latin plural of the adjective is priora (Reference is slightly in error here). All of these forms are nominative caseand there are several other forms for the other cases. As for the plural of Prius in English, Toyota has said that it is simply Prius and also that owners are welcome to use whatever they like. [cite web | title = GreenHybrid: Interview with Ed LaRocque | url = http://www.greenhybrid.com/wiki/index.php/Interview_with_Ed_LaRocque]
Toyota announced on June 7, 2007 that it had sold 1 million hybrid vehicles globally, and that of those 757,600 were Prius. [cite press release |title=Toyota Worldwide Hybrid Sales Top 1 Million Units |date=
2007-06-07|publisher=Toyota Motor Corporation |url=http://www.toyota.co.jp/en/news/07/0607.html |accessdate=2008-05-29] Nearly 345,000 of the first 1 million hybrid cars made by Toyota were sold in Japan.cite web |title=Sales Top 1 Million but Some Owners Find Prius Doesn't Age Well |author=Joe Benton |date= 2007-06-07|url=http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2007/06/prius_aging.html |publisher=ConsumerAffairs.com |accessdate=2008-05-29] In May 2008, Toyota announced that its worldwide cumulative sales of the Prius had passed the 1 million mark. The Prius, which is sold in more than 40 countries and regions, has its largest markets in Japan and North America. Nearly 60% of all Prius sales have been in North America, where 183,800 vehicles were sold in 2007. That sales pace has accelerated in early 2008, with 66,100 vehicles sold in North America in the first four months, a rate that would result in nearly 200,000 sales if continued through the entire year. In fact, Toyota sold 21,757 Prius hybrids in the United States in April, setting a record for April sales and making the Prius the third most popular vehicle in the Toyota line, trailing the Corolla and the Camry. [http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/consumer/news_detail.cfm/news_id=11777 U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Consumer Guide, May 21, 2008]
U.S. sales of the Prius began in August 2000. By 2001 sales there totaled 15,556, and by 2002 had reached 20,119. [cite web
title=The Toyota Prius: The Most Important '04 Model? Yes.
publisher=Automotive Design and Production] In 2004 sales there were 53,991, and doubled in 2005 to 107,897, about 60% of the world total of 180,000. [cite web
url = http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2006/03/06/8370702
title=The Birth of the Prius
publisher=CNN Money] By
2006-06-07266,212 Prius had been sold in the U.S., and accounted for 40% of the hybrid market there in 2006. [cite web
title=Market Scan: Honda Pulls Plug On Accord Hybrid
publisher=Forbes] As of November 2007 Toyota has sold 510,325 Prius in the US since its initial launch in 2000.Prius gas-electric hybrid mid-size sedan reported sales of 14,212 units for a best-ever December and best-ever year-end sales of 181,221 units, up 68.9 percent over 2006. [ [http://www.toyota.com/about/news/corporate/2008/01/03-1-sales.html About Toyota | Our News | Toyota Reports 2007 And December Sales ] ]
Design and technology
The Prius is a combined hybrid (sometimes referred to as series-parallel), a vehicle that can be propelled by
gasoline(petrol) and/or electric power. Components of the system include:
Regenerative braking, using motor-generators, which converts kinetic energyof motion into electrical energythat is stored in the traction battery and reduces wear on the brake pads;
internal combustion engine(ICE) using the more efficient Atkinson cycleinstead of the more powerful Otto cycle. The gasoline engine normally shuts off during traffic stops and the accessories (including the air conditioning) are powered by the battery pack. The engine is used both to propel the vehicle and to recharge the batteries. Because of the availability of extra power from the electric motors for rapid acceleration the engine is sized smaller than usual for increased fuel efficiency and lowered emissions with acceptable acceleration;
electric motor/generators: MG1 and MG2. MG1, reversible and up to 10,000 rpm, starts the engine and provides counter torque for the Continuously Variable Transmission(CVT). MG2 provides 50 kW (67 hp) between 1,200 to 1,540 rpm and 400 N·m (295 lb·ft) torque between 0 to 1,200 rpm, contributing to performance and economy. These motor-generators are used as generators when used for regenerative braking, and as motors are capable of starting the vehicle (and gas engine if needed) and low speed (<~convert|30|mi/h|km/h|abbr=on, convert|41|mi/h|km/h|abbr=on in NHW20) travel;
Hybrid Synergy Drive(HSD) unit that combines a planetary gearset that behaves like a Continuously Variable Transmission(CVT) called the Power Split Device [cite web | title = The Power Split Device | url = http://www.ecrostech.com/prius/original/Understanding/PowerSplitDevice.htm ] to increase efficiency. The computer controlled HSD transaxle adjusts and blends the amount of power from the gasoline engine and electric motor-generator(s) as needed by the front drive wheels and rechargeable batteries;
sealed38-module nickel metal hydride(NiMH) battery pack providing 273.6 volts, 6.5 A·h capacity and weighing convert|53.3|kg|lb|abbr=oncite web |title=Toyota Prius II Battery Pack |publisher=The Clean Green Car Company |url=http://www.cleangreencar.co.nz/page/prius-battery-pack |accessdate=2008-05-30] is supplied by Japan's Panasonic. They are normally charged to 40–60% of maximum capacity to prolong battery life as well as provide a reserve for regenerative braking;
#Wind resistance is reduced by a drag coefficient of 0.26 (0.29 for 2000 model) with a
Kammbackdesign to reduce air resistance. Lower rolling-resistance tires are used to reduce road friction;
vacuum flaskfor storing hot coolantwhen the vehicle is powered off for reuse so as to reduce warm-up time (US market);
#An EV mode (or stealth mode) that allows drivers to operate on electric power only under low-power conditions for a limited duration of time (Europe and Asian markets, aftermarket in the US). Advocates for the blind warn that the Prius is silent, and that it could be hazardous to blind pedestrians and others accustomed to engine noise to warn of a nearby vehicle;
#Vehicle weight is reduced by the use of a flexible resin gasoline tank and by the use of
aluminuminstead of steelfor the engine bay hood and hatchback.
The computer program used in the Prius shuts off the engine when the car is stopped, is reversing, or is descending hills, thereby dramatically decreasing fuel consumption in city driving . The HSD's on-board computer program determines when and how to use the engine, motor, or both to power the car and recharge the battery so as to maximize efficiency. Typically, a gasoline engine runs inefficiently at half-throttle, creating a choking condition called pumping loss, a major reason for the inefficiency of gasoline engines compared to diesels. The Prius minimizes pumping loss by using a high torque range as much as possible with the throttle fully open.
Drive-by-wirethrottle control technology and Toyota's " Hybrid Synergy Drive" (a torque combiner, electric drive, and computer control) are essential to this engine control. In addition to the immediate benefit of reducing fuel consumption and emissions, stopping the gasoline engine also improves the performance of the catalytic converter, as the exhaust gases from an idling engine tend to cool the catalyst below its optimal temperature.Typical gasoline- or diesel-engined vehicles consume fuel when the vehicle is stopped, as is common in city driving. The Prius typically shuts down the gasoline engine and runs solely off the battery pack at low speeds and when stopped. A non-hybrid car also gets worse fuel consumption in city driving because its engine is continually used to accelerate the car to driving speed and then this energy is lost to friction brakes during stop-and-go driving. The Prius recaptures some of this energy by using regenerative braking to charge its battery pack while slowing down with its motor-generators in generator mode. For acceptable acceleration the IC engine on a "standard" car typically is much larger than needed for constant-speed travel. By using both a gasoline engine and electric motors for acceleration the Prius engine can be a smaller size and still provide acceptable acceleration. This means the greatest advantages of a hybrid are mainly in city driving, though factors including driving style, air conditioning use, and short trips may offset some of this advantage. The frequent starting and stopping of the Prius engine does not cause noticeable additional wear and tear or emission problems because the electric drive motors have enough power to quickly spin the engine to optimal speed (around 1,000 rpm) before fuel is admitted.
For any car,
aerodynamiclosses, which vary roughly as the velocity squared due to air drag are much greater on the highway than in low speed city driving. The Prius hybrid has less of an advantage in higher speed open road driving, typical of intercity driving. Nevertheless, the Prius still obtains improved fuel consumption under these circumstances since it can use a smaller and more efficient engine than would otherwise be required. The electric motor(s), powered by the battery pack, can provide the extra peak power needed for acceleration, passing and limited hill climbing. The lower weight, cross sectional area and lowest drag coefficient of a production car in the U.S. market (since the cancellation of the Honda Insight) make the Prius a very efficient [ [http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/calculatorSelectEngine.jsp?year=2008&make=Toyota&model=Prius Compare Old and New MPG Estimates ] ] cite web |title=2008 Most and Least Fuel Efficient Vehicles (ranked by city mpg) |url=http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/best/bestworstNF.shtml |publisher=United States Environmental Protection Agency and United States Department of Energy |accessdate=2007-12-25] highway traveler, getting mpg|45 on the highway according to the U.S. EPA.
The environmental impact of the car's batteries has been questioned. [ [http://www.hybridcars.com/faq.html#battery Frequently Asked Questions | Hybrid Cars ] ] To encourage battery recycling, dealers are paid a $200 fee for return of the car's batteries. [cite web
title=Hybrid Hype? Fact and Fiction Surrounding the New Technology
publisher=Toyota] Toyota has laboratory reports that some Prius battery packs have lasted the equivalent of convert|180000|mi|km. As the cars start to age, early reports have shown that in at least some cases the batteries can last in excess of convert|250000|mi|km. [ [http://www.hybridexperience.ca/Toyota_Prius.htm#hybridtaxi The Hybrid Experience Project ] ] Individual battery longevity will vary depending upon the treatment and use history of the battery pack. A degraded battery pack will reduce performance and fuel economy, but not leave the car inoperable.
Fuel consumption and CO2 emission
Fuel consumption, or fuel-efficiency in cars is generally measured as distance travelled per unit volume of fuel, as in miles per gallon (mpg), or as the volume of fuel required to cover a given distance, as in litres per 100 kilometres (L/100 km). Diesel fueldoes have about an 11% higher energy density than gasoline(petrol), so that needs to be taken into account in pure energy-efficiency calculations and comparisons. Fuel-price-efficiency calculations will vary between various parts of the world, with diesel fuel pump prices being higher than gasoline prices in some countries, whilst in others it is less expensive than gasoline. [cite web |title=Fuel Price Reports: UK and overseas fuel prices |publisher=The Automobile Association Limited |url=http://www.theaa.com/motoring_advice/fuel/ |accessdate=2008-09-10] A Raleigh, North Carolinafirm, Advanced Vehicle Research Center, converts the Prius by adding a second battery, improving its fuel efficiency by increasing the distance it runs on electricity alone. [ [http://www.raleigh3.com/default.asp?sourceid=&smenu=1&twindow=&mad=&sdetail=1447&wpage=1&skeyword=&sidate=&ccat=&ccatm=&restate=&restatus=&reoption=&retype=&repmin=&repmax=&rebed=&rebath=&subname=&pform=&sc=2724&hn=raleigh3&he=.com Raleigh Firm Makes Fully Electric Cars] ]
Official government data
United States, the Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) test results must be posted on new vehicle windows, and are the only fuel consumption figures that can be advertised. EPA testing procedures for all vehicles were revised in 2007 in an attempt to better match what the average driver would achieve. [cite news |title=Hybrid Cars' Fantasy Mileage Ratings Drive Into the Sunset |author=Gartner, John |publisher=CondéNet |work=Wired |date= 2007-05-14|url=http://www.wired.com/cars/futuretransport/news/2007/05/hybrid_mpg |accessdate=2008-06-03] The following data is taken from these figures: 2008 Prius mpg|48 for city driving, mpg|45 for highway driving, mpg|46 combined; 2001 Prius mpg|42 city, mpg|41 highway. [cite web |url=http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/noframes/24882.shtml |title=2008 Toyota Prius |publisher=U.S. EPA |accessdate=2007-12-25] The Prius is the most efficient car available in the U.S. in 2008, based on the official rating.
The official fuel consumption data, provided by the
Department for Transport, rates the Prius as: Mpg (Imperial)|56.5 urban, Mpg (Imperial)|67.3 extra urban and Mpg (Imperial)|65.7 combined. [cite web |title=Vehicle details for Prius 1.5 VVT-i Hybrid E-CVT |publisher=UK Department for Transport |url=http://www.vcacarfueldata.org.uk/search/vehicleDetails.asp?id=10982 |accessdate=2008-09-02] Eleven diesel-powered cars, some of them smaller, have a better fuel-efficiency (by fuel volume) than the Prius for combined use. [cite web |title=Downloads — Latest Data |publisher=UK Department for Transport |work=New Car Fuel Consumption and Exhaust Emissions Figures |url=http://www.vcacarfueldata.org.uk/downloads/latest.asp |accessdate=2008-07-24] [cite web|title=Database Search by Fuel Economy|url=http://www.vcacarfueldata.org.uk/search/fuelConSearch.asp]
According to the Department for Transport, the Prius is tied with the MINI Cooper D as the third least CO2-emitting vehicles at 104
g/km, behind the tied Volkswagen Polo 1.4 TDI and SEAT Ibiza 1.4 TDI at 99 g/km - it is the least CO2-emitting petrol-powered car, the Polo and the Ibiza being diesel.
Independent test data and comparisons with other vehicles
Several organisations have tested the fuel economy of the Prius and compared it directly with other cars.
The Prius is the most fuel efficient car that
Consumer Reportshas tested [ [http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/cars/new-cars/buying-advice/most-fuelefficient-cars-206/index.htm ConsumerReports.org - Most fuel-efficient cars ] ] , giving a real-world fuel consumption of mpg|44 for the Prius [ [http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/cars/new-cars/high-cost-of-hybrid-vehicles-406/overview/index.htm ConsumerReports.org - High cost of hybrid vehicles 9/06: Hybrid cars, gas/electric cars ] ] .
Consumer tests have shown petrol-electric hybrid cars in general are little more fuel-efficient (by fuel volume) than top of the range diesels. [cite news |title=Diesel hybrids could enter Le Mans|date=
2008-06-13|publisher=BBC News |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7437245.stm |accessdate=2008-06-13] It should be noted that diesel fuelhas a significantly higher energy density than the gasoline used by the Prius, and diesel is signficantly more expensive in some parts of the world, including the United States. [http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/oog/info/gdu/gasdiesel.asp]
Sunday Timesdid a comparison of the Prius with another car in long distance town and country driving.cite news |title=Toyota Prius proves a gas guzzler in a race with the BMW 520d |author=Nicholas Rufford and Jason Dawe |date= 2008-03-16|publisher=Times Newspapers |work=The Sunday Times |url=http://driving.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/driving/used_car_reviews/article3552994.ece |accessdate=2008-05-23] The results showed that the other car, a BMW 520d SE with a Auto bhp|177|1 diesel engine and regenerative braking, averaged Mpg (Imperial)|50.3 whilst the Prius averaged Mpg (Imperial)|48.1 over exactly the same route. The comparison was performed on a journey of convert|545|mi|km from Londonto Geneva, including Convert|100|mi|km of urban driving, about Convert|200|mi|km of driving on rural roads, and about Convert|200|mi|km of motorwaydriving at speeds of up to Convert|78|mph|km/h on one French autoroute. Auto Expressmagazine performed independent fuel efficiency tests, on public roads, on a number of hatchbacks, and in August 2007 published their list of the ten most efficient. The Prius achieved 10th place in the list, returning Mpg (Imperial)|41.5. A Citroën C4 Coupé 1.6 HDi got 1st place with Mpg (Imperial)|49.6. [cite news |title=Top 100 most fuel-efficient cars — hatchbacks |date= 2007-08-09|publisher=Dennis Publishing |work=Auto Express magazine |url=http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/news/autoexpressnews/209792/top_100_most_fuelefficient_cars.html |accessdate=2008-06-04] Motor Trendmagazine conducted a test comparing the Prius with a Honda Civic Hybrid. The Prius had the better fuel economy by 3.9 mpg–U.S. (0.53 L/100 km / 4.7 mpg–imp), achieving mpg|43.8 compared to mpg|39.9 for the Civic. [cite web |title=Road Test: 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid vs. 2006 Toyota Prius & 2005 Honda Accord Hybrid vs. 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid |publisher=MotorTrend Magazine |url=http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/hybrid/112_0604_hybrid_sedan_comparison/honda_civic_toyota_prius_specs.html |accessdate=2008-07-04] In a similar comparison performed by Edmunds.com, the Prius managed an additional 4.5 mpg–U.S. (0.50 L/100 km / 5.4 mpg–imp) at mpg|48.3. [cite web |title=Hybrid Comparison Test: 2006 Honda Civic vs. 2005 Toyota Prius |publisher=Edmunds |url=http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Drives/Comparos/articleId=108445/pageId=67436 |accessdate=2008-07-04]
Popular Mechanicsmagazine diesel versus hybrid comparison of February 2005, the Prius outperformed the Volkswagen Jetta GL TDI diesel in both city and highway fuel economy. [cite web |title=Diesel Vs. Hybrid: TOYOTA PRIUS |month=February | year=2005 |url=http://www.popularmechanics.com/automotive/new_cars/1215782.html?page=7 |accessdate=2008-07-04] [cite web |title=Diesel Vs. Hybrid: VOLKSWAGEN JETTA GL TDI
month=February | year=2005 |url=http://www.popularmechanics.com/automotive/new_cars/1215782.html?page=6 |accessdate=2008-07-04]
The Prius was the overall winner of the
Edmunds.com"Gas-Sipper Smackdown" fuel economy test, winning three of the five tests. The 2005 VW Jetta TDI won two of the tests. The other cars tested were the Smart Fortwoand the North American Ford Focus. [cite web |title=Fuel Economy: Gas-Sipper Smackdown! |date= 2008-05-20|publisher=Edmunds |url=http://www.edmunds.com/advice/fueleconomy/articles/126370/article.html |accessdate=2008-04-07]
CO2 advertising claims
In the UK, the
Advertising Standards Authority, an independent body charged with policing the rules of the advertising industry, ruled that a television advert for the Toyota Prius should not be broadcast again in the same form, having breached rules concerning misleading advertising. The advert claimed the Prius "emits up to one tonne less CO2 per year," while on-screen text included: "1 tonne of CO2 less than an equivalent family vehicle with a diesel engine. Average calculated on 20,000 km a year." Points of contention were the vehicles chosen for comparison, whether "up to" one tonne less" adequately communicated that reductions could be lower, and whether the distance used was appropriate: 20,000 km per year is around a U.S. car's average annual driving distance, while a UK car's is 13,440 km. [cite web
title=ASA Adjudication: Toyota (GB) plc
publisher=UK Advertising Standards Authority
An earlier complaint to the New Zealand Advertising Standards Authority, decision 03/360 2003 was also upheld. It was ruled that Toyota were in breach of the New Zealand advertising standards code of ethics, by claiming "up to 89% fewer smog forming emissions”. The figure was based on comparison with Euro 3 standards, which most new cars also met comfortably at the time.Fact|date=September 2008
Lifetime energy usage
The British Government and British media have requested Toyota release detailed figures for the energy use and CO2 emissions resulting from the building and disposal of the Prius. The UK Government Car Service run 130 Priuses, and Toyota has not supplied the detailed data that they requested, to support claims that the lifetime energy usage of the Prius, including the increased environmental cost of manufacture and disposal of the nickel-metal hydride battery, are outweighed by lower lifetime fuel consumption.cite news |title=Toyota Prius - green winner or loser? |author=Andrew English |date=2008-10-11 |publisher=Telegraph Media Group |work=The Daily Telegraph |url=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/news/3174258/Toyota-Prius---green-winner-or-loser.html |accessdate=2008-10-11] Toyota states that lifetime CO2 saving is 43 percent.
The large number of Prius-owning progressive celebrities in 2002 prompted the "Washington Post" to dub hybrids "Hollywood's latest politically correct status symbol." [ [http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A2587-2002Jun5 "Half Gas, Half Electric, Total California Cool: Hollywood Gets a Charge Out of Hybrid Cars."] "The Washington Post", page C01, via washingtonpost.com,
2002- 06-06. Retrieved on 2007- 08-13.] While conservative "Prius Patriots" were also cited in 2005, [Anderson, Kevin. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4283117.stm "Hybrid cars take hold in US."] "BBC News Website", 2005- 02-22. Retrieved on 2007- 08-13.] the vehicle carries an image as being a car for politically liberal environmentalists. A 2007 San Francisco Chronicle article said "Prius Progressives" were becoming an archetype, quoting conservative U.S. pundit Rush Limbaugh opining that "these liberals think they're ahead of the game on these things, and they're just suckers."Haddock, Vicki. [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2007/07/15/INGHKQVEIM1.DTL "Oh, so pious, Prius drivers: Smugness drifts over the warming Earth -- is that a bad thing?"] "San Francisco Chronicle", page D-3, via sfgate.com, 2007- 07-15. Retrieved on 2007- 08-13.]
Some conservatives promote use of the Toyota Prius. For example, Jim Road from "What Would Jesus Drive?" encouraged people to drive hybrid cars because of the damage that large SUVs can do to others.
Former CIA chief
R. James Woolsey, Jr.drives a Prius because of its low fuel consumption. Woolsey noted the volatility of the Middle East, coupled with anti-US sentiment in much of the region. Noting that the high percentage of oil drilled in the Middle East gives vast profits to Middle Eastern regimes, Woolsey believes that it is a patriotic obligation to drive more efficient vehicles. In a "Motor Trend" magazine article, Woolsey claimed that those oil profits find their way to terrorist groups like al-Qaeda, meaning that Americans who buy inefficient vehicles would, in effect, be indirectly funding terrorism. "We're paying for both sides in this war, and that's not a good long-term strategy," said Woolsey. "I have a bumper sticker on the back of my Prius that reads, "Bin Laden hates this car." [ [http://www.motortrend.com/features/consumer/112_0705_james_woolsey_interview/ James Woolsey - Interview - Motor Trend ] ]
The following equipment is standard on U.S. models of the 2006-2009 Toyota Prius: ["Toyota Prius Repair & Maintenance Manual", Bentley Publishers, 2008, pages 1-4 and 1-5] [Kelly Blue Book listing for 2009 Prius, accessed 9/13/2008]
* Driver and front-passenger Advanced
* Driver and front-passenger front seat-mounted side
airbags and front to rear side curtain airbags
* Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) with
Electronic brakeforce distribution(EBD) and Brake Assist
* Engine immobilizer
* Rear-seat Child Restraint System (CRS) lower anchors and top tether brackets (
* 3-point front outboard seatbelts
* Front seatbelt pretensioners with force limiters
* Direct Tire Pressure Monitor System (standard on 2008, 2009) [Kelly Blue Book listing for 2009 Prius, accessed 9/13/2008] [U.S. window sticker for 2008 Toyota Prius]
Vehicle Stability Control(VSC)
Navigation system lock-out
The Prius' onboard GPS navigation system (as well as other models, such as the Lexus, which use the same technology) is designed so that destinations cannot be entered while the vehicle is in motion. According to the owner's manual, this is done for the driver's own safety (so that he is not distracted by trying to operate the navigation system while driving the car). However, this feature has caused considerable complaints from many owners who travel with a passenger and who want to have the passenger operate the navigation system while the driver is driving. Some owners claim that this actually increases the danger, as pulling off a highway onto the shoulder to enter a destination and then attempting to merge back into traffic going at highway speeds may be more dangerous than simply having the passenger enter data while the driver concentrates on driving.
On Toyota Prius with model years 2004 and 2005, it is possible to override this lock-out by pressing the display button and then tapping the upper left, lower left, upper left, lower left, upper left, lower left corners of the screen in that order. Once that is done correctly a new menu will appear and all you have to do is hold down the override button until it beeps. However, in 2007, the override was removed for liability reasonscite web |title=When is an Upgrade *not* an upgrade? When it comes from Lexus |publisher=LexusOverride.com |url=http://www.lexusoverride.com |accessdate=2008-05-30] .
Some consumers are attempting to start a petition to have the override functionality restored, many of them claiming that they were falsely informed that the override functionality was still present and that they would not have purchased the vehicle if they knew of this limitation.
Wall Street Journalreported in February 2007 on concerns that quiet cars like the Prius may pose a safety risk to those who rely on engine noise to sense the presence or location of moving vehicles. [cite web
title=Blind Pedestrians Say Quiet Hybrids Pose Safety Threat
publisher=The Wall Street Journal Online] Blind pedestrians are a primary concern, and the
National Federation of the Blindadvocates audio emitters on hybrid vehicles, [cite web
title=National Federation of the Blind 2006 Resolutions
publisher=The Braille Monitor] but increased risks may also affect sighted pedestrians or bicyclists who are accustomed to aural cues from vehicles. In July 2007, a spokesperson for Toyota said the company is aware of the issue and is studying options [cite web
title=Fixit: Will quiet hybrids get noisier?
publisher=StarTribune.com (Star Tribune, Minneapolis MN)
author=Youso, Karen] . Both State [External link| http://info.sen.ca.gov/pub/07-08/bill/sen/sb_1151-1200/sb_1174_bill_20080208_introduced.html |SB 1174 An act to repeal and add Section 257 to the Vehicle Code relating to clean fuel vehicles] and Federal legislation [External link| http://thomas.loc.gov/home/gpoxmlc110/h5734_ih.xml| “Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2008” ] have been proposed and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration held a public hearing [External link| http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/ContentViewer?objectId=09000064806e5c9c&disposition=attachment&contentType=pdf |U.S. DOT/NHTSA - (Corrected Version) Transcript of the Quiet Cars Public Meeting on June 23, 2008] . Different groups and companies are looking at solutions [cite news |title=Introducing the hybrid you can hear (so it won't run you over) |author=Michael Savage |date=2008-08-07 |publisher=independent.co.uk |work=The Independent |url=http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/motoring/features/introducing-the-hybrid-you-can-hear-so-it-wont-run-you-over-887124.html |accessdate=2008-08-20] [cite news |title=Teaching Cars to Sing |author=Charlie Foster |date=2008-08-21 |publisher=www.forbes.com |work=Forbes |url=http://www.forbes.com/2008/08/21/singing-prius-lotus-tech-science-cz_cf_0821prius.html |accessdate=2008-09-06] .
Government and corporate incentives
A number of governments have incentives that are intended to encourage hybrid car sales. In Belgium, the national government offers reductions in the purchase price of up to 15% for buying cars that have lower CO2 exhaust. [ [https://portal.health.fgov.be/portal/page?_pageid=56,547250&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL Less poluting cars, something we all work for] (government site)]
The federal government in Canada offers to those who buy or lease hybrid cars a rebate, however the rebate program expires on December 31, 2008 without any announced extensions. [ [http://www.ecoaction.gc.ca/ecotransport/ecoauto-eng.cfm ecoACTION - ecoTRANSPORT - ecoAUTO Rebate Program ] ] Some provincial governments also offer incentives such as in British Columbia, [ [http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/bulletins/sst_087.pdf Alternative Fuel Vehicles - Calculating the Tax Reduction: Social Service Tax Act] Ministry of Small Business and Revenue, British Columbia, revised March 2007. Retrieved on
2007- 08-12.] Manitoba, [ [http://news.gov.mb.ca/news/index.html?archive=week&item=1132 "Drive Green, Save $2,000: Rondeau; Rebates Now Available To Manitobans Who Purchase A Hybrid Electric Vehicle"] (Press release). Government of Manitoba, 2007- 02-05. Retrieved on 2007- 08-12.] Quebec, [ [http://www.revenu.gouv.qc.ca/eng/particulier/taxes/remboursement/remb_part_tvq_vehicule_hybride.asp QST rebate for hybrid vehicles] Ministère du Revenu du Québec. Retrieved on 2007- 08-12.] Ontario, [ [http://www.rev.gov.on.ca/english/refund/vpaf/ Refunds and Rebates: Vehicles Powered by Alternative Fuels] Ministry of Revenue, Government of Ontario 2007- 07-23. Retrieved on 2007- 08-12.] and Prince Edward Island. [ [http://www.irac.pe.ca/document.aspx?content=legislation/RevenueTaxAct-Regulations.asp Chapter R-14 Revenue Tax Act Regulations] . Regulatory & Appeals Commission, Prince Edward Island, 2007- 06-20. Retrieved on 2007- 08-12]
In the United Kingdom, there are both fiscal and parking-related incentives. The fiscal incentives are general; road tax is just £35 a year. Businesses can now (from 1 April 2008) claim 100% tax write-off for the Prius because the car has CO2 emissions of less than 110 grams per kilometre. The tax charge for a Prius that is provided as a company car is just 10% of its list price, rather than the heftier rates that can be up to 35% of a car's list price. Parking incentives exist in Richmond upon Thames (south west London) [ [http://www.richmond.gov.uk/doc_vehicle_banding_explained.pdf Vehicle Banding Explained] . London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, April 2007. Retrieved on
2007- 08-12.] , Westminster(Central London) for resident parking permits [ [http://www.westminster.gov.uk/transportandstreets/parking/wheretopark/vehicletype/electric.cfm Transport and Streets: Eco Vehicles] . (Government website). City of Westminster. Retrieved on 2007- 08-11.] , Winchester(now discontinued) [ [http://www.winchestermiracles.org/wp06-ParkingDiscounts.doc Integrated pricing strategies (for parking)] Winchester, April 2006. Retrieved on 2007- 08-11.] [ [http://www.civitas-initiative.org/measure_sheet.phtml?lan=en&id=48 Integrated pricing strategies in Winchester] . CIVITIS Initiative. 2007- 07-27. Retrieved on 2007- 08-11.] [ [http://www.winchester.gov.uk/TransportAndStreets/Parking/CarParks-Council/CarParkCharges/General.asp?id=SX9452-A781C479&cat=8206 Discounted Season Tickets - Environmentally Friendly Vehicles] Winchester City Council. 2007- 05-23. Retrieved on 2007- 08-11.] , Manchester, and Brightonhas similar plans. Drivers in London can register for an exemption from the £8 daily congestion charge [ [http://www.toyota.co.uk/cgi-bin/toyota/bv/frame_start.jsp?id=PS2_congcharge Avoid congestion charging in London with Toyota Prius] Toyota GB. Retrieved on 2007- 08-12.] Delgado, Martin. [http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=463952&in_page_id=1770 Koo Stark's fury over £7,500 in parking fines - for eco-car she thought was exempt] . (News website). Daily Mail, 2007- 06-23.] [ [http://www.cclondon.com/downloads/Drivers.pdf Congestion Charging | Transport for London ] ] Some of the incentives in the United Kingdom have been criticized in the press given that non-hybrid cars, some of which have better fuel economy, are not afforded the same incentives. [cite news
title=VW's BlueMotion green badge
publisher=The Daily Telegraph
url=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/2007/05/07/eavw07.xml] [ [http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/projectsandschemes/roadsandpublicspaces/5667.aspx Roads and Public Places] ]
In the United States, the federal government offers a tax credit to purchasers until a certain number of cars has been sold by a manufacturer. This has ranged from US$787 to $3,150, which expired in 2007 for hybrids sold by Toyota. [cite web
title=Additional Toyota and Lexus Vehicles Certified for the Energy Tax Credit
url=http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=163103,00.html] Some state governments, including Colorado [cite web
title=FYI Income 9: Alternative Fuel Income Tax Credits
publisher=Colorado Department of Revenue, Taxpayer Service Division] ,
Connecticut[ [http://www.ct.gov/drs/cwp/view.asp?Q=284656&A=1436 Exemption for Hybrid Vehicles] (Website). State of Connecticut Department of Revenue Services. Retireved on 2007- 08-11.] , Illinois[cite web
title=State offers incentives to hybrid vehicle buyers
url=http://www.thesouthern.com/articles/2007/07/18/top/20864872.txt] offer tax incentives. Hybrid engine automobiles are exempt from
high-occupancy vehicle lanerestrictions in some U.S. states. [cite web
url=http://www.dmvnow.com/webdoc/general/news/news.asp?id=4865] ) California (currently until
January 1, 2011. [cite web
title=AB 2600 Assembly Bill
url=http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/05-06/bill/asm/ab_2551-2600/ab_2600_bill_20060929_chaptered.html] [cite web
url=http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/0209hybrids0209online.html] Los Angeles and San Jose, California had exempted hybrid cars from paying for street parking. [cite web
month=April | year=2003
title=Hybrid Program Free Parking
work=From City of San Jose Website] [cite web
month=June | year=2006
title=Free Parking Info
work=From City of Los Angeles Website]
New York Stateoffers a special "green" version of their E-Z-Pass toll payment tag for hybrid owners who use the NYS Thruwaysystem, which gives the owners a 10% discount on tolls. [http://www.nysthruway.gov/ezpass/greentag.html] Also, the Port Authority of New York and New Jerseyoffers their "green E-Z-Pass" to hybrid owners, who pay $4 instead of $8 to use all the bridges and tunnels between New York and New Jersey, except in rush hours. [http://www.panynj.gov/CommutingTravel/tunnels/html/tolls.html#faq8] But it is better to get the NYS Thruway green pass, since the NYS Thruway green pass allows the user to get the Port Authority Bridges and Tunnels discount, while the Port Authority Green Pass does not allow the user to get the NYS Thruway discount. (Both the Port Authority and NYS Thruway green E-Z-Passes are issued by New York State E-Z-Pass Service Centers, but users need to make sure they are issued a NYS Thruway green E-Z-Pass if they want to use both discounts.)
In the Netherlands, the government has lowered the tax for company-cars with CO2 emissions below a certain level (such as the Prius) to 14%. The tax on all other class company-cars has been raised from 22 to 25%. As a result, in the month January alone, more than 1800 cars have been sold. The importer has already indicated that he can no longer meet the demand for the year 2008. Privately owned cars with low CO2 emissions benefit from lower road taxes.
In Sweden, private purchasers of the Prius (or any other vehicle in the environmentally less destructive class) are awarded SEK 10,000 (roughly USD 1700, €1100) after six months of ownership, in order to stimulate sales and use of such vehicles. The subsidy program has been very successful.
Several U.S. companies offer employees incentives.
Bank of Americawill reimburse $3000 on the purchase of new hybrid vehicles to full- and part-time associates working more than 20 hours per week. [http://www.hybridcars.com/corporate-incentives.html Corporate Incentives] (Website). Hybridcars.com. Retrieved on 2007- 08-11.] 2007- 08-06. Retrieved on 2007- 08-12.] software company Hyperion Solutions, [cite web
month=November | year=2004
title=Details of Hyperion Solutions' Drive Clean Program
accessyear=2007] andorganic food and drink producer Clif Bar & Co [Wikipedia:Footnotes| [broken footnote] offer employees a $5000 credit toward their purchase of certain hybrid vehicles including the Prius. Integrated Archive Systems, a Palo Alto IT company, offers a $10,000 subsidy toward the purchase of hybrid vehicles to full-time employees employed more than one year. [Wikipedia:Footnotes| [broken footnote] Clothing companies Timberland and Patagonia, law firm
DLA Piper, non-profit American Jewish Committee, software publisher Topics Entertainment, and research firm ABR, Inc. are among companies offering eligible employees significant discounts on certain hybrid vehicles including the Prius. [Wikipedia:Footnotes| [broken footnote] Travelers Companies, a large insurance company, offers hybrid owners a 10% discount on auto insurance in most states. [ [http://www.coolmayors.com/common/news/reports/detail.cfm?Classification=report&QID=3465&ClientID=11061&Browse
] ] The
Farmers Insurance Groupoffers a similar discount of up to 10% in most states. [Wikipedia:Footnotes| [broken footnote]
When the vehicle is turned-on with the "start" button, it is ready to drive immediately with the electric motor, while electric pumps warm the engine with previously saved hot engine coolant, before the internal combustion engine is started. The delay between starting the car and starting the internal combustion engine is approximately seven seconds. The Asian and European versions of this vehicle provide a button labeled "EV" that maintains Electric Vehicle mode after start up, under most low-load driving conditions. This permits driving with low noise and no fuel consumption, and is advertised as a "quiet" option for short journeys, for example in residential areas at night, in the Asia manual. The car automatically reverts to normal mode if the battery becomes exhausted. The North American model does not have the "EV" button, although the "EV" mode is still supported internally by the Prius Hybrid Vehicle management computer. The PRIUS+ Projectcite web |title=How CalCars Green-Tuned an '04 Prius into a PRIUS+ Plug-In Hybrid! |publisher=California Cars Initiative |work=CalCars |url=http://www.calcars.org/priusplus.html |accessdate=2008-05-30] offers conversion instructions for "do-it-yourselfers" who wish to enable the button. Toyota has now received government approval to run on public roads for tests. Researchers at the Advanced Power and Energy Program at the
University of California, Irvineand the Institute of Transportation Studiesat the University of California, Berkeleywill begin testing two specially made Prius and analyze driver behavior, study air quality and energy use. [Citation
author =The Boston Globe
title =Toyota plug-in hybrid hits the road
accessdate =2007-08-03 ] However, electric-only driving range remains limited to around seven miles (eleven kilometers) per charge in all-electric mode at up to 100 kilometers per hour (62 miles per hour). [Citation
title =Toyota to test electric plug-in hybrid Prius cars
accessdate =2007-08-03 ] No date has been set for public release of EV mode, and it will not be available to the public until a great deal of additional research has been done.
Plug-in hybrids use a larger
electric vehicle batterypack that is recharged from external sources in order to further reduce fuel consumption. The NiMH batteries [ [http://www.glgroup.com/News/Why-Is-GM-Trying-To-Develop-An-Unproven-Technology.-Lithium-While-Its-Chief-Rival-Ramps-Up-Production-Of-A-Proven-Tech-27209.htmlNickel-metal hydride battery] ] in a production PHEV will be built to handle deeper discharge cycles without loss of lifespan such as the NiMH battery pack in the Toyota RAV4 EV. Operation of the vehicle will be very similar to a normal hybrid, except that the electric operation will be more prevalent. In the case of a Prius PHEV, on the highway, the gasoline engine will operate as before, leaving the car with the same ability to accelerate and use freeways. Current converted Prius also operate in a high speed blended modewhich can reduce but not eliminate fuel consumption on the freeway. When driving in slower conditions or with light loads, the batteries will be used first in a charge-depletingmode, allowing moderate commutes at low speeds (particularly under 41 mph/65 km/h) to be driven entirely on electricity. Once the batteries have been sufficiently discharged the car will automatically revert back to the charge-sustainingmode of the current stock Prius.
Evolving from the button project, The California Cars Initiative (CalCars) [cite web | title = Plug-In Hybrids Use Cheaper, Cleaner, Domestic Energy | url = http://www.calcars.org] converted a Prius in 2004, adding larger batteries and found out how to safely charge the batteries without affecting the hybrid system. Private companies EDrive Systems in the USA and Amberjac Projects in the UK announced plans to sell conversion kits in 2006 (pushed back to 2007).Fact|date=August 2007 The most recent versions, such as from OEMTek.com [cite web|title=OEMTek PHEV conversion|url=http://www.oemtek.com/] in California use a new, patented advanced safe-format Lithium Battery from Valence Technology called Saphion. Using the advanced batteries increases the final price by an estimated US$12,000. The energy density and far more efficient utilization of these batteries provide around 20x the available power of the standard NiMH battery pack but at only double the weight. Tests show it capable of achieving > 30 miles (50 km) in all electric mode at speeds below 34 mph (55 km/h). The internal combustion engine starts only at higher speeds or when extra acceleration is needed. Fuel economy is improved to mpg|100 - mpg|500 [cite web | title = Plug-in Hybrid Technology Kits Released |url = http://www.businessweek.com/autos/content/mar2006/bw20060303_978539.htm?chan=autos_hybrids+index+page_technology] depending on driving conditions. City driving may be possible without using the ICE at all, eliminating the use of almost all liquid fuel in exchange for electrical energy.
PriusPlus is a similar project evolving from CalCars, using lead-acid batteries and a do-it-yourself kit. This conversion gives a car that has mpg|100 under normal driving conditions. All-electric mode can be used for 10–12 miles in street driving. In January 2007 issue of
IEEE Spectrum, CalCars lead technical engineer, Ron Gremban, notes that drivers installing the CalCars Prius+ kit shouldn’t expect a 'positive financial payback.' [cite web | title = You Tell Us: The Home Plug-In Hybrid Kit |url = http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/jan07/4824] The kit adds convert|135|kg|lb|abbr=on to the car's weight, and increases efficiency. The lead-acid battery pack performance is reduced in cold weather, has a limited life of about 400 deep discharges, and must be recharged within a day to maintain this lifespan. The hope is, by the time the batteries need replacing, a better option will be on the market at a comparable price.
However, under certain conditions, an Argonne National Lab study [ [http://www.transportation.anl.gov/pdfs/HV/399.pdf Testing and Analysis of Three Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles ] ] showed that the Prius' blended power drivetrain made an extremely poor base for a plug-in hybrid. Specifically, with the increased use of electric power, and the internal combustion engine activating less frequently, the
catalytic converternever warmed up properly. As a result, the test cars' emissions actually increased over the stock version. The same study also tested a simpler series hybrid based on a Renault Kangoo, but not as rigorously. Nonetheless, some argue that a more capable series configuration would be a better base for a PHEV than HSD because the larger electric traction motor could handle the full range of speeds, thus conferring true all-electric capabilities and completely displacing petroleum use even at highway speeds. Also, while under charge-sustaining mode the internal combustion engine would act as a continuously-running auxiliary power unit, and would not suffer the same frequent cold-start problems inherent to the Prius design.
Additionally, a study conducted by the aforementioned CalCars concluded that a plug-in Prius would only make technological sense when paired with a relatively small battery pack. As batteries grow more capacious and petroleum displacement becomes a priority over baseline efficiency, the authors wrote, the more a series design is likely to become the rational choice. [ [http://www.greencarcongress.com/2008/03/calcars-weighs.html Green Car Congress: CalCars Weighs In on GM Series/Toyota Parallel PHEV Debate ] ]
Plug in upgrades are available to the general public from
Hymotion, from 6 certified installers nationwide at a cost of $9995. Hymotion claims up to 100MPGclarifyme|US or imp? for the first convert|40|mi|km under mostly electric power, and 4.5 hour recharge time for its A123 Systems Lithium iron phosphatebattery. [ [http://www.a123systems.com/hymotion/technology high-power lithium ion batteries ] ]
Future and Plug-in version
The 2009 Prius will have only minor changes and be ready for first delivery in October 2008. [http://www.donlen.com/buildstart_toyota.html] The redesigned 2010 Prius, not plug-in, will be announced at the Detroit auto show, January 2009, and be available in Spring 2009. [ http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13746_7-10015459-48.html] [http://www.leftlanenews.com/toyota-prius-2010.html] According to Edmunds, the Plug-in Prius will be available for "fleet buyers by late 2010". [ [http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Features/articleId=126123 Imagine the 2010 Toyota Prius - Inside Line ] ] Toyota indicates that plug-in will be available in 2011 [ http://www.technoride.com/2008/09/video_toyota_showcases_new_pri.php ] .
Katsuaki Watanabesaid in a February 16, 2007interview that Toyota was "aiming at reducing, by half, both size and cost of the third-generation hybrid system." [cite web | title = Toyota's Bid for a Better Battery | url = http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/07_10/b4024075.htm]
A Toyota spokesman said that future Prius research "...is broad-reaching and being carried out from various angles." [ [http://www.thecarconnection.com/index.asp?DID=RSS&n=274&sid=274&article=12471 Li-ion Not Ready for Prius Car Reviews - The Car Connection ] ]
Ten hydrogen powered Prius cars were delivered in November 2007 to Vistorka, a consortium of companies in Iceland. [ [http://www.reuters.com/article/companyNewsAndPR/idUSL28874720071128 Iceland Opens Hydrogen Filling Station to the Public] , Reuters,
November 28, 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-18.]
Toyota plans to have a future option to install solar panels on the roof of its Prius, primarily to cool the car while it is parked in the sun. [ http://ecotechdaily.com/2008/08/11/next-gen-prius-will-have-solar-ac/ ] [ http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/AheadoftheCurve/wireStory?id=5320150 ] Expected to be available when the vehicle goes through a complete as early as 2009 spring [ [http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/toyota-equip-prius-solar-panels/story.aspx?guid=%7BA5960A1A%2DE176%2D4A08%2D952C%2D4BC4A0A69284%7D&dist=msr_2 Toyota to equip Prius with solar panels - report - MarketWatch ] ] . The report states that the feature will be available on some high-end models. Some media reports have incorrectly reported that the panels will provide 2 to 5
kilowattsof electricityto power the air conditioning. [cite web | url=http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/lifestyle/green/chi-ap-japan-toyota,0,7072609.story | title="Report: Toyota plans solar AC for Prius" | author=Kageyama, Yuri | publisher=Associated Press | date=2008-07-07 | accessdate=2008-07-08] In actuality, assuming reasonably-priced and commonly-used photovoltaic material, numerous engineers have calculated that the peak power available from the Prius rooftop covered completely in solar cells is approximately 250 watts. The "2 to 5 kilowatts" is likely a misquotation of the actual power consumed by the air conditioner compressor or intended to convey "2 to 5 kilowatt-hours" of use.
Toyota has announced that the Prius will be manufactured in the US in the new
Blue Springs, Mississippiplant in 2010 [http://www.sunherald.com/newsupdates/story/676148.html]
*1997–98 Car of the Year Japan [cite web | title = Car of the year Japan | url = http://www.jcoty.org]
Scientific American" names Toyota Motor Corporationas "Business Leader of the Year" ("Scientific American 50"; December, 2003) for its singular accomplishment in the commercialization of affordable hybrid cars.
Motor Trend" Car of the Year 2004
Car and Driver" magazine's Ten Best list for 2004.
North American Car of the Yearaward for 2004. Nominated in 2001.
International Engine of the Yearfor 2004.
* "Best Engineered Vehicle for 2004" by SAE's "Automotive Engineering International" magazine. [cite web | title = 'Best Engineered Vehicle for 2004'| url = http://www.sae.org/news/releases/prius2004.htm]
European Car of the Year(406 points, ahead of Citroën C4with 267 points and Ford Focus II with 228). [cite web | title = Toyota Prius is 2005 European Car of the Year | url = http://www.di-ve.com/dive/portal/portal.jhtml?id=161929&pid=null]
*2006 EnerGuide Award (Midsize) [cite web | title = 2007 EnerGuide Awards | url = http://www.toyota.ca/NWS/english/energuide/energuide_e.html]
*2006 Intellichoice Best Overall Value of the Year, Midsize [cite web | title = 2006 Toyota Prius | url = http://www.intellichoice.com/reports/vehicleReport/vehicle_nmb/19025/type/used/year/2006/make/Toyota/model/Prius]
*2007 Intellichoice Best in Class Winner :Best Retained Value, Lowest Fuel, Lowest Operating Costs, Lowest Ownership Costs [cite web | title = 2007 Toyota Prius | url = http://www.intellichoice.com/reports/vehicleReport/vehicle_nmb/19453/section/reviews/type/new/year/2007/make/Toyota/model/Prius/sub/intro ]
*Swiss government named Toyota Prius the world's greenest car in a draft study of over 6,000 cars. [cite web | title = Swiss name Toyota's Prius world's greenest car | url = http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070727/sc_nm/cars_pollution_dc]
*Green Engine of the Year 2008 from International Engine of the Year Awards. [cite news |title=GREEN ENGINE OF THE YEAR 2008|date=
2008-06-30|publisher=UKIP Media & Events |work=International engine of the year awards |url=http://www.ukipme.com/engineoftheyear/winners_08/green.html |accessdate=2008-06-30]
*2008 Nominated for [http://www.whatgreencar.com WhatGreenCar.com] Car of the Year Awards 2008, shortlisted for the UK's top
Green Car Awards
*2008 JD Power and Associates Most Dependable Compact Car [ [http://www.jdpower.com/autos/ratings/dependability-ratings-by-category/compact-car Ratings | J.D. Power ] ]
Comparison of Toyota hybrids
List of hybrid vehicles
Fuel economy-maximizing behaviors
Honda Civic Hybrid
Hybrid Synergy Drive
*Hypermiler Driving - Drivers who exceed EPA est MPG
Hybrid electric vehicle
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle
Toyota Camry Hybrid
ACT Hybrid Vehicle Authority
Notes and references
* [http://www.toyota.co.uk/cgi-bin/toyota/bv/frame_start.jsp?id=MSR_PRIUS Official Toyota Prius site - UK] en icon
* [http://www.toyota.co.jp/worldwide/toyota/index.html Official Toyota worldwide website]
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