The Toyota Prius Hybrid Electric Car & Plug-in HEV
The Toyota Prius is a hybrid electric car that has been bought to us by the Japanese car giants Toyota. The Prius has been on the marketplace since 1997 when it was launched in Japan at four dealers. The Prius made history as it was the first mass-produced hybrid car ever made, since then it has become the biggest selling hybrid electric car. It has been said that from 1997 to 2010 Toyota have sold over 2 million units of its first Prius XW10 to the third generation revamped Prius XW30.
Not only bringing the first mass-produced hybrid car to the market Toyota has also become the biggest manufacturer of hybrid plug-in vehicles worldwide. The Toyota Prius has a great reputation for its reliability and especially for its fuel consumption due to being a hybrid car. The UK official fuel efficiency data for the Prius in urban driving is 70.4 mpg, extra urban 76.4 mpg and combined 60.3 mpg.
How Does It Work?
The latest version of the Toyota Prius has a 1.8 L gasoline engine and this can generate up to 98 hp, the older models previously had a 1.5 L engine, however with the new models and increased power of the electric motors the Toyota Prius generates a total of 134 hp. Benefits with the larger engine in the latest models have been and improvement in its torque and also a reduction of engine speed RPM. This all adds up to a more fuel efficient car and Toyota have really nailed it, with this the world's bestselling hybrid car.
Toyota has implemented the latest technology in this vehicle. The Prius has an electric water pump, and is the first hybrid engine that requires no accessory belts, and this has had a big impact on the fantastic fuel economy and reduction in emissions from this car. The electric motors and other mechanical components are smaller and thus more efficient than other comparative vehicles on the market.
This car essentially has two sources of drive, one of them being a petrol combustion engine and the other one being an electric motor, they both work together intelligently controlled by the onboard computer and controller, to give this car the maximum fuel economy. The car is equipped with a lithium ion battery, which is charged when the car is slowing down or breaking in all traffic conditions. This regeneration of the battery pack gives you the ability to re-use the energy to power the vehicle when you next accelerate, and the basic principle is conservation of energy. This is the same system that was introduced into Formula 1 cars for the 2014 season, and the technology will continue to be developed.
The Toyota Prius releases and maximum of 89g/km of CO2, and is therefore free of charge to road tax. Toyota also offers a plug-in hybrid version of the Prius, which will increases your economy further, by allowing you to recharge the batteries from a charging lead. You can drive up to 15 miles on pure electric, and it should take you around 90 minutes to fully charge from a normal household charger.
If you live or travel in or to London this plug-in version is also congestion charge exempt. The Prius also benefits from a £5000 subsidy off the marked price, due to the Department of Transport and Office of Low Emissions plug-in car grant.
Inside the cabin of the Prius you can find a well laid out center console with all the mod cons. Automatic air conditioning with Toyotas climate control system maintains a comfortable temperature for the driver and all passengers, cruise control, touch tracer controllers which gives you fingertip controls to the car, this includes a selection of driving information, air conditioning and the audio.
You can opt for the Toyota touch and go plus which gives this car a 6.1 inch touchscreen, where you can find a range of information from the charge, fuel economy to the MP3/ iPod song selection. You can also see your rearview camera, which takes the concentration out of reversing. It also includes an advanced 3-D satellite navigation system with voice recognition, text-to-speech and the latest traffic pattern information. With this 6.1 inch touchscreen you can also connect to different services from online local search applications to finding fuel stations, parking information, the weather and all of you social media platforms like Facebook.