Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid
The New prius plug-in hybrid combines all the attributes of the new, full hybrid, TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture)-platformed, fourth generation Prius with a class-leading all-electric EV driving mode range, and showcases several highly innovative new technologies.
Toyota was the first company to offer the world PHV (Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle) technology. Today, with the launch of the second generation Prius Plug-in Hybrid, it is taking a further step towards its goal of reducing whole fleet CO2 emissions by 90%* by 2050 through the use of HV (Hybrid Vehicle) PHV, EV (Electric Vehicle) and FCV (Fuel Cell Vehicle) technologies.
A powerful response to customer feedback on the first generation Prius Plug-in Hybrid, Toyota’s new PHV is not only a significant evolution of the latest generation Prius, but also a truly unique vehicle in its own right.
It features numerous sophisticated technological breakthroughs, including two Toyota firsts -a Battery Warming System and a Dual Motor EV drive system, and two world firsts -an EV range-extending solar roof and gas injection heat pump air-conditioning.
With an EV range more than doubled to over 50 km and maximum EV speed increased from 85 to 135 km/h, the new Prius Plug-in Hybrid represents a huge leap forwards in efficiency, driving performance, innovation and styling, whilst remaining true to Toyota’s goal of creating the ultimate eco car.
*From 2010 level
STATE-OF-THE-ART PHV TECHNOLOGY, DOUBLE THE EV DRIVING RANGE
• Optimum battery development for double the electrical capacity and EV range increased by two and half times to over 50 km
• Dual Motor Drive System for better acceleration and 135 km/h maximum speed
• All-weather EV range further enhanced through Battery Warming System and gas-injection heat pump air-conditioning
• 65% increase in battery charging speed –just 2 hours using Type II Mode III Mennekes connector
At the heart of the new Prius Plug-in Hybrid is the latest generation of Toyota’s advanced PHV technology. It offers customers two cars in one; an even more sophisticated full hybrid powertrain and a real, all-electric EV driving experience with double the range of the previous generation model.
The significant increase in EV driving range from 25 km to over 50 km is based on technological improvements in three key areas: optimum battery development, maximising EV driving performance and making the overall vehicle package much more efficient.
Optimum battery development
Located under the rear load space, a large capacity lithium-ion battery is fundamental to the new Toyota PHV’s more than doubled EV range of over 50 km. The battery capacity has equally doubled from 4.4 to 8.8 kWh. Yet, the battery volume has only increased by 66% -from 87 to 145 litres, and, at 120 kg, it is only 50% heavier than its predecessor.
Dual Motor Drive System
EV power has also been increased by some 83% thanks to the development of Toyota’s first hybrid powertrain to feature a Dual Motor Drive System. A new, highly-compact one-way gear within the transaxle allows the hybrid system generator to act as a second electric motor. This boosts EV driving power for better acceleration, an even more engaging performance and a maximum EV driving speed of 135 km/h, whilst greatly reducing engine start up frequency.
Gas-Injection Heat Pump Air-conditioning and Battery Warming System
The further minimising of engine usage whilst the Prius Plug-in Hybrid is operating in EV drive mode is assured through the enhanced efficiency of the new PHV system, which builds on the 4th generation full hybrid technology powering the new Prius with several sophisticated new technologies.
The air-conditioning is now powered by a gas-injection heat pump – world first technology – which will heat the cabin in outside temperatures as low as -10 degrees C, without starting the engine, hence minimising the impact which heating the interior has on both fuel consumption and EV driving range.
Far more efficient than engine heating or high power electric heaters, the heat pump can efficiently warm the interior using heat absorbed from the outside air. Mounted to the heat pump system, the gas-injection mechanism ensures heating performance even when outside temperatures are low.
Moreover, during charging, a new battery warming system will warm the cells to an efficient working temperature in outside conditions as cold as -20 degrees C. This ensures that both battery power and efficiency are maintained at a sufficient level to minimise the impact of cold weather on EV driving range, with full power available from start off in even very cold conditions.
Faster Battery Charging
Its maximum charging power increased from 2 to 3.3 kW, the battery itself can be fully charged up to 65% more quickly; in only 2 hours using the Type II Mode III Mennekes connector, and 3 hours and 10 minutes using a standard household plug socket.
The charging process is now programmable weekly on a day-by-day basis, and includes the facility to simultaneously charge and pre-cool or pre-heat the cabin.
REWARDING DRIVING EXPERIENCE
• Toyota New Global Architecture-based platform for greater rigidity, a lower centre of gravity, and more precise handling
• PHV-specific suspension settings combine high quality ride comfort with greater handling stability
• Enhanced EV driving experience with linear torque delivery and highly responsive acceleration
• Choice of Normal, Eco and Power driving modes with HV, EV and EV City, and Battery Charge Mode powertrain switching
• Focus on NVH for a cabin even quieter than Prius
TNGA Platform for Responsive, Engaging Handling
The Toyota New Global Architecture-based platform plays a defining role in the Plug-in Hybrid’s rewarding driving experience, giving the car a lower centre of gravity, and securing a more engaging driving position and more precise and responsive handling, with less body roll.
These qualities are supported by a body that is 60% more rigid than that of its predecessor, thanks to extensive use of high-strength steels and structural adhesives, a stiffer connection between the cowl panel and front pillars, additional reinforcement to the centre pillar lower structure and the panel connection, three-way inner rear floor cross-member reinforcement, and the use of continuous flanges to increase the strength of joints between various structural elements.
As a result, better handling can be achieved directly from the quality of the chassis and body without having to use firmer suspension settings, or compromising ride and comfort. This makes a significant contribution to the improved driving dynamics – beyond what might be expected of an eco-car. The result is superior, direct and responsive handling.
PHV-specific Suspension Settings
Driving dynamics are further enhanced by model-specific settings to the Prius Plug-in Hybrid’s MacPherson strut front and new double wishbone rear suspension.
The front suspension coil spring rates have been optimised to offer supple, high quality ride comfort. The front shock absorber damping force has also been optimised to be greater at low and very low speeds, and smaller at mid to high speeds, combining excellent ride quality with enhanced handling stability.
The front stabiliser bar has also been enlarged over that of the fourth generation Prius, resulting in a 13% reduction in roll rate for even greater handling stability.
The new, trailing-type double wishbone rear suspension produces one-third the level of shock when driving on uneven roads compared to the current Prius Plug-in Hybrid. It features all the same revised, PHV-specific settings as that of the front system, once again combining high quality ride characteristics with improved handling stability.
ENHANCED EV DRIVING EXPERIENCE
The significantly improved dynamic characteristics of the new chassis are matched by the more responsive character of the new plug-in full hybrid system. The 83% boost in EV power due to the hybrid transaxle’s Dual Motor Drive System offers drivers highly responsive all-electric acceleration characteristics.
Increased range aside, the Toyota engineers’ main goal was for a substantial improvement in EV driving experience, by enhancing the characteristics which only EV drive can offer -the direct feeling of drive from motor to wheel, a broad spread of torque with linear axle response, and the feeling of endless acceleration.
The full hybrid drive system’s new transaxle is combined with a new, highly efficient PCU system control unit to give the Prius Plug-in Hybrid extraordinary overall operating efficiency.
With a total power output of 90 kW, the new PHV’s full hybrid powertrain combines improved EV and HV driving performance to accelerate the Prius Plug-in Hybrid from 0-100 km/h in 11.1 seconds, and on to a top speed of 162 km/h. Conversely, it achieves average fuel consumption of only 1.0* l/100 km and CO2 emissions of just 22* g/km.
Choice of 3 Driving Modes and 4 Powertrain Modes
A choice of four, switchable powertrain modes is available to control how the new Prius Plug-in Hybrid’s seamless, E-CVT electric continuously variable transmission delivers power when driving: HV Mode, EV Mode, EV City and a new Battery Charge Mode.
HV Mode efficiently combines the power delivery of the engine and electric motors, allowing the Prius-Plug-in Hybrid to operate as a full hybrid. And -activated by pressing and holding the HV/EV Mode switch- the new Battery Charge Mode uses the engine to generate electricity to charge the battery while driving in HV Mode.
EV Mode primarily uses electric power from the HV battery to drive the vehicle, only starting the engine when the throttle is wide open or at high vehicle speeds. It incorporates a switchable EV City Mode, which reduces maximum power output and only starts the engine when the throttle kick-down is engaged, allowing the new Toyota PHV to run on electric power alone for as long as possible.
*Depending on tyre choice
Available whilst the new Toyota PHV is operating in any of the three powertrain modes, three ‘on-demand’ Drive Modes –NORMAL, POWER and ECO- may be also selected to further increase driving efficiency, performance and fuel economy.
These drive modes also incorporate comprehensive Eco driving support for those who wish to adopt more environmentally-friendly driving techniques.
From start-up and at lower speeds, the NORMAL drive mode selected, the new PHV automatically operates in EV mode, driving under electric motor power alone to give instant power and an extraordinarily smooth, quite ride with minimal NVH. Thereafter, the full hybrid drive system automatically combines the power of the engine and electric motor, or engages each individually, depending on driving conditions.
The POWER mode modifies the response of the Prius-Plug-in Hybrid to throttle inputs, boosting power to improve acceleration and enhance driving pleasure. The POWER mode provides a higher throttle response to accelerator pedal input.
Once in POWER mode, the new Prius Plug-in Hybrid also benefits from the automatic activation of a new DMD (Driver’s Mind D Logic) drive assist system to provide a more responsive driving experience.
Using a Driver’s Monitoring Index (DMI) system, which continuously monitors the vehicle’s G-forces to understand driver behaviour and habits, DMD responds to the driver’s desire for more sporty performance, adjusting engine braking performance and throttle response accordingly.
In ECO mode, throttle response to aggressive accelerator pedal inputs is reduced and air-conditioning control optimized for improved fuel economy. Depending on driving conditions, the ECO mode can help drivers achieve a reduction in fuel consumption.
Even Quieter than a Prius
Finally -and complimenting the innate quietness inherent in the higher maximum speed and minimal engine use of the new Toyota PHV’s extended EV mode- a particular focus has been placed on minimising NVH (Noise, Vibration and Harshness).
The optimum placement of sound suppressing and absorbing materials at the source of noise offers occupants unique levels of cabin quietness.
Prius Plug-in Hybrid-specific NVH-reducing measures include bonnet side seals to reduce engine noise under acceleration, urethane fender separators to reduce engine compartment noise entering the cabin, acoustic front door glass for a quieter front seat area, and the addition of rear wheel housing inner silencers for a quieter rear seat area.
Cabin comfort and quietness has been even further enhanced through the adoption of a urethane-based headliner and enlarged floor silencer, and high sound absorbing materials to the A pillar, deck side and back door trim.
STRIKING, STAND-ALONE, AERODYNAMIC STYLING
• Unique, stand-alone aerodynamic styling for class-leading drag coefficient of only Cd 0.25
• PHV-specific front and rear LED light clusters and two-tone 15’’ alloy wheel design
• Choice of seven body colours including new, PHV specific Spirited Aqua metallic
Sharing the TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) platform of the latest Prius, the new Prius Plug-in Hybrid’s striking, highly aerodynamic design builds on the iconic Prius profile with unique styling elements which hint at the advanced technology within.
At 4,645 mm long, 1,760 mm wide and 1,470 mm high, the new Toyota PHV is 165 mm longer, 15 mm wider and 20 mm lower than its predecessor, with front and rear overhangs lengthened by 25 mm and 80 mm respectively, over the fourth generation Prius. A powerful evolution of Toyota’s Under Priority and Keen Look design themes, the front of the new Prius Plug-in Hybrid is instantly recognisable from the standard Prius through a highly three-dimensional acrylic grille treatment and thin, ultra-compact 4-LED headlamp units featuring new adaptive technology.
The strong forward projection of the grille is emphasised by the highly aerodynamic sculpting of the bumper sides, whilst the vertical location of the Daytime Running Lights (DRL) and LED turn indicators at the extreme edges of the front fenders reinforce the low, wide, ground-hugging stance of the vehicle.
In profile, the Prius Plug-in Hybrid may be identified not only by its longer rear overhang and lower cowl and rear spoiler heights, but also by PHV-specific, two-tone 15” alloy wheels designed to enhance brake cooling.
To the rear, the cross-sectional shape of the PHV-unique, aerodynamics-enhancing, ‘double-bubble’ rear screen is carried into the curve of the rear spoiler, at the extremities of which are integrated rear LED light clusters, again unique to the Toyota PHV.
A comprehensive aerodynamics package is key to achieving the fuel consumption reducing benefits of a remarkably low drag coefficient of only Cd 0.25.
The new Toyota PHV builds on the already highly efficient aerodynamics of the latest Prius with a lower roof and rear spoiler height, an enlarged area of underbody covers, airflow rectifying front and rear bumper corners, the double-bubble rear screen and aero stabiliser fins built into the rear combination lamps.
In addition, the new Prius Plug-in Hybrid features a shutter built into the lower front grille, which is automatically opened or closed to optimise the flow of cooling air into the engine bay, reducing air resistance.
When the engine is cold, the grille shutter is closed to suppress engine cooling airflow and shorten the engine warm-up time, contributing to lower fuel consumption.
The new 2017 Prius Plug-in Hybrid will be available in a choice of seven body colours, including one colour -Spirited Aqua metallic- developed exclusively for the model.
‘ICONIC HUMAN TECH’ INTERIOR DESIGN
• Clear, symbolic, dual-zone arrangement of layered information with high quality, satin chrome-plated trim
• Large 8’’ infotainment screen and PHV-specific dual 4.2’’ TFT driver’s meters
• Two seat rear accommodation to maximise occupant space and quality of life on board
The new Prius Plug-in Hybrid shares the dashboard design of the latest Prius; a clear, structural arrangement of layered information which places the driver’s meters at distance and the displays close at hand.
However, the new Toyota PHV benefits from a large, 8” infotainment screen with updated graphics. The dual 4.2” TFT driver’s meters also feature PHV-specific graphics. The Prius Plug-in Hybrid instrument panel may be further identified through high-quality, satin chrome-plated ornamentation on the white base of the shift panel.
The new Toyota PHV shares the same new front seat design as the Prius, which offers improved seat cushion comfort to reduce driving fatigue. Maximising occupant space and the quality of the on-board environment, rear accommodation comprises two seats separated by a central console.
The luggage deck has been raised by 160 mm to accommodate the larger plug-in hybrid system battery, with maximum loadspace volume now 360 litres.
ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY FOR GREATER EFFICIENCY
• Solar panel roof, for up to 1,000 km of all-electric driving per annum
• Dual-zone S-Flow air-conditioning controls vents in relation to cabin occupancy
• Adaptive Headlamp System (AHS) technology for optimum visibility under all driving conditions
• CFRP (Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic) tailgate -a world first for a mass production vehicles- reduces weigh
• Enhanced Toyota Safety Sense system incorporating Pre-Collision Safety with pedestrian recognition, and Full-speed Adaptive Cruise Control
Every aspect of the advanced technology aboard the new Prius Plug-in Hybrid has been designed to improve the efficiency of the vehicle’s PHV powertrain, and to promote an environmentally-conscientious lifestyle.
The successful development of technology first revealed on the Auris HSD concept in 2010, the roof of the new Toyota PHV can incorporate a large solar panel which generates electricity to charge the hybrid system battery.
When the vehicle is parked (but not plugged in to a charging socket), the solar roof charges an intermediate solar battery which, when fully charged, delivers a pumping charge to the main HV battery.
During driving, the solar charging system charges the 12 volt auxiliary battery, compensating for auxiliary load and thereby reducing the energy consumption of the main HV battery, and potentially contributing to a 2-3% increase in hybrid system efficiency.
Depending on weather conditions, solar charging can increase the EV driving range of the new Prius Plug-in Hybrid by up to 5 km per day, equating to some 1,000 km of all-electric driving per annum.
The range of driving modes available now includes a Battery Charge Mode which uses the engine to generate electricity and charge the battery when the vehicle is operating in HV mode.
The new, dual-zone, gas injection heat pump air-conditioning system is equipped with S-Flow control, which automatically controls the cabin air vents in relation to passenger seat occupancy, maintaining comfort whilst reducing power consumption.
Also reducing power consumption, the slim, 4-LED headlamp units feature new AHS (Adaptive Headlamp System) technology. AHS automatically shades beam areas occupied by preceding and oncoming vehicles, maximising the time during which drivers can use the high beam setting for optimum visibility. The system also varies the width of high beam projection according to vehicle speed -from widest at 15-40 km/h, for optimum urban illumination, to narrowest at over 80 km/h.
During times of low beam use, AHS automatically adjusts the beam height cut-off line to offer the largest possible area of illumination without risk of dazzling the preceding driver.
AHS also incorporates a cornering lamp function to improve visibility through bends in the road ahead.
A CFRP (Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic) tailgate -a world first for mass production vehicles- reduces weight to further enhance the hybrid drive system’s efficiency.
The new Prius Plug-in Hybrid further benefits from a wireless phone charging platform, a large, colour head-up display, a new, Simple Intelligent Parking Assist (S-IPA) system, and an enhanced Toyota Safety Sense system incorporating two features new to the Toyota PHV; Pre-Collision Safety with a pedestrian recognition function, and Full-speed Adaptive Cruise Control, which can slow the car to a standstill when necessary.