22.9.2011 Guideline Plug-In Prius pricing announced
The new Plug-in Prius will cost less than £31,000 when sales start in the first half of 2012.
This headline figure does not take into account Government funding through the Ultra-Low Carbon Vehicle grant scheme that will reduce the price of the Plug-in Prius to the customer by £5,000.
The pricing is competitive compared to the latest electric and plug-in hybrid models on the market, such as the Nissan LEAF and Vauxhall Ampera. Like other plug-in hybrids, it offers a flexible performance from its powertrain which combines an electric motor, a lithium-ion battery and a petrol engine.
The drive unit allows owners to cover 14 miles in EV mode, using power from its batteries, after which the vehicle will seamlessly switch to power from its full hybrid system, including the 1.8-litre VVT-i petrol engine. This means the driver need suffer no "range anxiety" about the distance the car can cover.
The Plug-in Prius' Lithium ion batteries can be conveniently recharged either using a private charging station at home or at the workplace, or using a public on-street or public car park unit. A full recharge takes an hour and a half – use Next Green Car's Zap-Map to see up-to-date locations of all current charge points across the UK.
Prior to official homologation, Toyota predicts that the Plug-in Hybrid will emit 49 g/km of carbon dioxide and achieve 134.5 mpg combined cycle fuel economy. There is currently some disagreement as to how these figures should be calculated for plug-in hybrid vehicles, as there can be significant variation according to how often the vehicle is plugged in, and how long journeys are.
However, the figures will certainly be below 75 g/km for CO2, meaning that fleet operators will benefit from Benefit-In-Kind company car tax rating of just 5% for drivers, consequently a monthly tax payment of less than £52 for a 40% tax paying user. Furthermore, businesses will save on fleet costs thanks to a 100% write-down allowance and lower National Insurance contributions.
The advantages of the Prius Plug-in Hybrid are being measured in real-world demonstration programmes with 200 prototype Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) in Europe – 20 of them in London. Initial data are showing how the car can achieve significantly better urban driving performance than the best-in-class petrol and diesel models of comparable size. The London demonstration, in partnership with EDF Energy, is also monitoring battery recharging patterns and how motorists can time recharging periods to make best use of the power supply in terms of cost and emissions.
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