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Fleet And Personal Car Reviews – An Unbiased Review Of The Toyota Prius Plug In Hybrid
As a fleet car or family car, the Toyota Prius Plug In Hybrid has a spacious interior for large families and, thanks to its smooth transmission, it offers a very comfortable ride. Our review of this car’s fleet revealed that the fuel economy and emissions standards are best in class and if you sell it in the future it has a high resale value. The only downsides are poor rear visibility, lack of steering feel and plastic interiors considering the high price.
While 2011 promises to be revolutionary since many establishments and businesses have planned to install charging stations for electric vehicles, this review of the Toyota Prius Plug In Hybrid car fleet is designed to help you make the right choice. . A few EVs are going to roll out this year, and next year you’ll have a fair choice.
The Toyota Prius is already quite common on the roads especially in urban areas, where hybrids have become popular. Toyota has sold over two million hybrid models and is therefore the single manufacturer with the most experience in the development and implementation of hybrid technology.
The latest Prius model is able to travel 2 miles on battery power alone and by 2012 you will also have the choice of a plug-in version. The Prius PHV will use lithium-ion batteries and travel 12.5 miles on battery power alone. This distance is quite sufficient to cover short trips, and to get a full charge when the battery is empty, it would take around an hour and a half from the usual 240v outlets.
The vehicle is also equipped with regenerative technology that will use energy during deceleration and charge the battery, giving it optimal range. When the battery is low, the Prius runs on its 1.8-liter gasoline engine for the majority of its power needs and occasionally uses the battery for assistance.
If you feel that this technology is expensive, you should bear in mind that the vehicle is eligible for a grant of £5,000, provided the government has extended its scheme’s cash allowance. If you compare the regular Prius model, the plug-in vehicle has less trunk space because the battery is bigger and there is a power outlet near the front passenger door.
The Prius was tested by us for a few days to find out its practicality, and also to see if the fear of a short battery life from the EV was well founded. The vehicle has traveled about 150 miles or so and most of that distance is covered by a highway. Usually, hybrids or electric vehicles don’t perform as well at consistently high speeds.
The battery of an electric vehicle runs out quickly. In a hybrid, when the engine is constantly running at high speeds, this negates the fuel economy benefit, as the engine must support its own weight and that of the battery. But we found that the Prius was able to maintain its drive in Epsom’s EV mode at around a little beyond M25.
The trip computer reading turned out to be 75 mpg after completing the trip. That wasn’t far off the 74.3mpg reading we got from the standard Prius combined cycle. But you have to keep in mind that the standard Prius traveling at 70 mph wouldn’t have a 70 mpg economy.
Within seven days, the vehicle was able to run in EV mode on my route of about 22 miles, assuming half the trip was without any tailpipe emissions. That would have been ideal, but the actual distance in EV mode was only about eight miles after the trip began. This could be due to the power being sapped by the ventilation and heating system due to the cold weather and also due to maintaining speeds of 50-70 mph.
The Prius seems to be ideal, where the vehicle is used for shorter journeys and where the possibility of charging presents itself during the day. In the event of a longer trip, a backup of the powertrain’s economical hybrid would serve the purpose.
By the year 2012, there will be plenty of choice among part-EV and part-gas vehicles like Chevrolet’s Vauxhall Ampera and Volt. Peugeot is also releasing diesel hybrids. Even with these models, Toyota should be able to maintain a stronger position, given its experience with hybrid technology and a proven vehicle.
Our fleet car review verdict is that an electric vehicle with a 12-mile range on battery power is attractive for certain travel requirements and if the plug-in vehicle subsidy program is extended, the Toyota Prius Plug In Hybrid will be very popular, whether as a fleet car or a family car.
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