2011 Electric Vehicle Conference showcases Toyota Prius PHV

TOYOTA CANADA – Since the introduction of the Prius in 1997 as the world's first mass-produced hybrid electric vehicle, Toyota has been at the forefront in helping shape the way people think about how automobiles are fueled.

Today, with gas prices almost 2.5 times what they were when the Prius launched, and after three new generations of the Prius and the brand having grown into its own family of vehicles, Toyota has established a strong leadership position in hybrids, with more than 3.3 million of these vehicles sold to date.

Speaking at the 2011 Electric Vehicles Conference and Trade Show, Sandy Di Felice, Director, External Affairs at Toyota Canada Inc., explained how one of the next major trends in automobile electrification will be major advances in plug-in technology.

"Plug-in vehicles will augment hybrids. We've seen steady progress for plug-in vehicles and we'll look back at 2011 as being a very special year for these vehicles," she said. "The new 2012 production Prius Plug-in Hybrid will be the Prius family member that represents "the best of both worlds," as it brings the superior fuel efficiency of the Prius together with an electric driving capability."

The new Prius PHV will have an EV range of about 24 km, which is 15 per cent greater than the current model, as well as:

• A new lighter weight, more compact Lithium-ion battery that can be fully recharged from depletion in just three hours on standard 120 Volt and about half that time on 240 Volt, significantly shorter charge times than any other plug-in or EV on the market today;
• An EV drive-mode button that will conveniently allow the driver to select when EV battery power is used, giving them more flexibility;
• A built-in timer that allows the driver to set when the vehicle starts charging or when a full charge should be complete;
• A battery charger port now relocated to the vehicle's right-hand rear side which now features a battery charger indicator and LED illumination for better night-time visibility;
• A portable charging cord that is more compact, 25 per cent lighter, and has a more flexible charging cable that does not stiffen in cold weather; and,
• Similar styling features as the Prius, with unique details to differentiate it as a plug-in.