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JLeslie's avatar

What is the deal with the new Toyota Prius hybrid that you can plug in?

Asked by JLeslie (65076points) July 4th, 2011

I saw it advertised on the Toyota website. I actually went to the the Toyota dealership today to look at a totally different car, but I asked about this new upcoming Prius to find out how exactly it worked. The salesperson started to say something that made no sense, and then sort of backed up and admitted she knew nothing about it really, only that it was coming out next year.

So it is plug in, and gas, and a battery? Logically I guess that means you can charge the battery with electricity, and if it runs low on charge it can use gas, so it solves the problem of long distance driving for electric cars? But, I am just guessing.

What have you heard about it?

What do you think?

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9 Answers

jerv's avatar

The European version has had that for years. Nothing new to me.

JLeslie's avatar

@jerv So, is my guess right? You can charge it at home and it won’t start using gas until the battery runs low? How does it work?

koanhead's avatar

Yes, @JLeslie your guess is exactly right. You can charge it at home and drive it on electricity longer before the engine kicks in – assuming you don’t go too fast or accelerate too hard, in which cases the engine kicks in anyway.

Prius owners here in the States have been modifying their cars to plug in since 2002 and kits have been available nearly that long.
Also, as @jerv notes the Euro (and probably Asia as well) models have offered it for quite a while.

JLeslie's avatar

@koanhead So that salesperson was really lacking in her knowledge. I gave her a pass since it was not on the market yet, but seems she should have known more.

jerv's avatar

Many salespeople are clueless about the products they sell,and many people are clueless about hybrids, so it stands to reason that people selling hybrids and EVs when they are used to selling gas-burners would double down on dumb.

If you really want to know about hybrids and EVs, hang around enthusiasts, especially those that have built/converted their own rigs; people like John “Plasma Boy” Wayland, (owner/builder of the White Zombie electric dragster) or your local/nearest EAA (Electric Auto Association) chapter. Or just get @koanhead started, as he taught me much of what I know about EVs.

@koanhead I just double-checked; it was Europe, Asia, and Australia. As usual, we are the last in the industrialized world to adopt a particular technology :/

JLeslie's avatar

I asked a question recently about electric cars, and no one mentioned this sort of option I don’t think? It was not really in the scope of my question though, I had not asked for alternatives.

Plucky's avatar

Yes, it does both (electricity and gas) ..that’s why it’s called a hybrid… :::ducks::: tee hee.

koanhead's avatar

@jerv Did they have it before 2002?
If not then we are only last to have Toyota deign to sell it to us. (Several people you know, including Wayland, have driven plug-in Prii in the US as early as 2002. Not me, unfortunately.)

Remember the RAV4 EV? Toyota wishes you didn’t.

jerv's avatar

@koanhead No, 2009 for the official Toyota version.

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