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Solar roof helps Toyota double the range of 2017 electric Prius Plug-In (gallery + video)


Toyota’s second generation Prius Plug-In can cover double the distance – more than 30 miles – and achieve much higher speeds in all-electric, emissions-free driving.

New Prius Plug-in is built on the same Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform as the standard, full hybrid Prius.

Prius Plug-in also benefits from a number of new technologies that increase efficiency, performance and practicality, significantly enhancing the model’s all-round appeal.

Its technological breakthroughs include a dual motor EV drive system and a battery warming system, plus two world firsts: an EV range-extending solar roof and gas-injection heat pump air conditioning.

Dual motor drive system

Prius Plug-in is equipped with Toyota’s first hybrid powertrain to feature a dual motor drive system, increasing EV power by around 83%. The maximum EV speed is 84mph.

Improved lithium-ion battery

During charging, a new battery warming system will bring the cells up to an efficient working temperature, even when external temperatures drop as low as -20°C. This ensures battery power and efficiency are maintained at a sufficient level to minimise the impact of cold weather on the EV driving range, with full power available from start-off.

Faster battery charging

An increase in maximum power means the battery can be fully charged up to 65% more quickly – in two hours when using the Type II Mode III Mennekes connector, or three hours 10 minutes using a standard household plug socket.

Gas-injection heat pump air conditioning

A new gas-injection heat pump powers the air conditioning, a world-first technology that contributes to Prius Plug-in’s greater efficiency.  It can heat the cabin without starting the engine, even when outside temperatures are at -10°C, minimising the impact on fuel consumption and EV driving range.

World-first EV range-extending solar panel roof

Developing a technology first seen on the Toyota Auris HSD concept in 2010, the roof can be fitted with a large solar panel to generate electricity to charge the hybrid battery. When the vehicle is parked (but not plugged in to a charging socket), the solar roof charges an intermediate solar battery. When this is fully charged, it will deliver a pumping charge to the main hybrid battery.

UK model range and pricing

The new Prius Plug-in is available in the UK in two specifications – Business Edition Plus and Excel.

Toyota ‘safety sense’ will be standard on both versions, including the pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with steering control, adaptive cruise control and road sign assist. Additional safety features include a blind spot monitor and rear cross traffic alert.

Comfort and convenience items include dual-zone automatic air conditioning, rear passenger footwell heating and smart entry and start.

The Business Edition Plus specification includes the Toyota Touch 2 with Go touchscreen multimedia and navigation system, heated, auto-dimming door mirrors with an automatic retracting function, rear view camera, dusk-sensing LED headlights, colour head-up display, Bluetooth, six-speaker audio with DAB reception and heated front seats.

The solar roof system can be specified as an option for the Business Edition Plus model.

Excel models extend the specification with rain-sensing wipers, simple intelligent park assist and front and rear parking sensors, a 10-speaker JBL premium audio system, voice recognition control for the Toyota Touch 2 multimedia and navigation system and leather upholstery.

The new Prius Plug-in has on-the-road prices of £34,895 for the Business Edition Plus model (£36,395 with the solar roof option) and £37,095 for the Excel.

Customers buying a new Prius Plug-in can take advantage of the Government’s plug-in car grant, which provides £2,500 towards the vehicle purchase cost.

In common with all new Toyota vehicles, Prius Plug-in is protected by a five-year/100,000-mile warranty.


Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid (2017) B-roll from ToyotaGB on Vimeo.

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