If a report is correct, the next Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid may offer 30-35 miles rated all-electric range.
By present standards, this electric range would rank it second among plug-in hybrids by that important metric and it would build on the new Prius platform.
This could therefore be a very significant car to plug-in enthusiasts as that much range also would mean it’s more capable of using like a part time all-electric car for longer daily driving trips.
Whether this comes to pass remains to be verified officially by Toyota. The source is “an executive in the auto industry who’s deeply familiar with the current and future universe of battery-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles,” says Green Car Reports.
Green Car Reports also explains it is normally reluctant to publish just any anonymous source, but says without revealing who it is that this one is trusted.
That the plug-in Prius could have as much as 30 miles range also fits a more-questionably sourced rumor by a Taiwanese automotive webite which said the new Prius plug-in would double its effective range. That article did not even hint who its source was leading journalists to stand back even while reporting it for what it was worth, along with full color images representing the new Prius.
Now with at least two unverified sources reporting they know of a significantly improved Prius plug-in hybrid, plug-in supporters including Green Car Reports have already said “bring it on.”
Since its launch in 2012, the first generation PHEV has met with mixed reception due to an 11-mile EPA-rated range, maximum speed in EV mode of just 62 mph, and potential for the gas to kick on if the accelerator is pressed too hard.
In short, its utility as a plug-in hybrid was dead last in the eyes of plug-in enthusiasts. As of June, it had globally sold over 71,000 copies, technically one of the top sellers, but compared to sales volume of mass market cars, it’s a slow mover.
Cynics have opined what success it has had is mainly because it rests on the laurels of the already respected Prius. Underlying the Prius Plug-in Hybrid is a known-reliable vehicle that even if EV mode is dead last, the rest of the car is believed of high quality.
Toyota has also caught criticism due to its retracting from plug-in vehicles in a greater measure, and shifting its focus to hydrogen fuel cells.
But a “30-35” mile range Prius plug-in could change all that. Basically, if it was one of the world’s best selling PHEVs despite its being weakest in the EV range, imagine what an evolved second generation might do if its range becomes very competitive.
Of course new plug-in hybrids are due out as well, so the market mix will be improved in any case over the next year and a half. By 2017 there are also believed pending new all-electric cars with 200 miles range.
Within its price for performance class however, a “30-35″ mile range PiP still appears like it could be a strong contender.