Many people believe that if they drive cars with less CO2 emissions, they will save the world from a global warming and may be they are right. That's why Toyota put on production Toyota Prius, which is a hit on the market. But with advancing the technologies the cars got more fuel efficient with less harmful emissions, so Toyota will have to move forward and their new vehicle is called  Prius Plug-in Hybrid Concept.

Prius Plug-in Hybrid Concept will be unveiled at the Frankfurt motor show in middle of September.

With advancing the Lithium-ion technology, the hybrids are getting more efficient by faster charging and more power from the batteries. The EV (electric) driving mode is now extended up to 20km at speeds up to 100km/h. Over longer distances the car operates like a regular full hybrid.

The emissions of CO2 will be cut to less than 60g/km, which is the lowest on the market. So the new Prius will be the ultimate ECO car put on sale.

The Prius Plug-in Hybrid will be available in early 2010.

Technical specifications

ENGINE
Displacement (cc) 1,798
Max. power (bhp @ rpm) 97 @ 4,000
Max. torque (Nm @ rpm) 142 @ 4,000
MOTOR
Type Permanent magnet synchronous motor
Max. output (bhp) 79
Max. torque (Nm) 207
HV BATTERY
Type Lithium-ion
EV cruising range (miles) 12.5
Recharging time (min) 100V 180 (target)
200V 100 (target)
EMISSIONS
CO2(g/km) <60
EXTERIOR DIMENSIONS
Overall length (mm) 4,460
Overall width (mm) 1,745
Overall height (mm) 1,490

2010 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid Concept, 1 of 4
2010 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid Concept, 2 of 4
2010 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid Concept, 3 of 4
2010 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid Concept, 4 of 4

Full Press Release:

The plug-in hybrid concept

Europe's population is increasingly urban-centred and Toyota research into commuting patterns shows that in the UK and France, more than 80 per cent of car journeys cover a distance of less than 25km; in the UK around 80 per cent are less than 10km long. These figures confirm the potential for electricity in providing short to mid-term sustainable mobility.

The environmental benefits of electric cars for urban commuting are well-documented, but vehicle development has been hampered by the drawbacks of the weight, size and cost of the large capacity batteries needed to provide even a modest driving range, and the lack of an adequate recharging infrastructure.

Toyota is addressing both these issues with the launch of the Prius Plug-in Hybrid Concept. It believes that progress in battery technology makes plug-in hybrid architecture the most workable solution for an electrified powertrain. The system overcomes the issue of a limited cruising range by enabling an automatic switch to a traditional full hybrid petrol-electric system once the vehicle reaches the limit of its EV (electric vehicle) driving range.

The concept model is a development of the new, third generation Prius, and builds on the core technology of Hybrid Synergy Drive specifically to meet the needs of urban motorists. It is a full hybrid vehicle in which both the electric motor and petrol engine can drive the wheels: a fully electric EV mode is used for shorter distances, while the petrol engine provides a true long-range capability.

As well as avoiding the limited range traditionally associated with electric vehicles, Toyota has also achieved a compact and practical packaging design for the battery pack. Prius Plug-in can be also be quickly recharged, from a conventional household electricity point, or a public charging post.

More than 500 Prius Plug-in cars will be released around the world early next year for lease programme, with more than 150 of these on the road in Europe. This will let Toyota evaluate all the technical aspects of the new model in a real-world environment, an essential step in preparing the vehicle for a potential market launch. The lease programme will also yield valuable intelligence on market response and which characteristics drivers find appealing, and why.

Performance

The Prius Plug-in Concept's powertrain is similar in format to the Hybrid Synergy Drive used in the new Prius, but with the nickel-metal hydride battery pack replaced by a new, high-output lithium-ion battery – a first for a Toyota hybrid vehicle. The new battery is more compact and has a higher volumetric energy density, so it does not compromise vehicle weight and packaging. Perhaps more importantly, it can be recharged much more quickly than the nickel-metal hydride type: the battery in the Prius Plug-in can be fully recharged in one-and-a-half hours from a 230v power supply.

The battery allows strong, seamless acceleration up to a maximum 62mph (100km/h) in EV mode. On a full charge, it can cover approximately 12.5miles (20km) in EV mode, six miles further than the nickel-metal hydride battery in the latest Prius model. Over longer distances, the car operates as a regular full hybrid.

The car's extended EV performance has a significant impact on emissions, with CO2 output dropping to less than 60g/km and, as with other full hybrid models, reduced NOx and particulates (PM) levels. Even greater CO2 savings can also be gained if the electricity used to charge the battery is drawn from renewable sources, such as windmills and solar panels. Simply put, the lower the percentage of energy derived from fossil fuels, the better the car's well-to-wheel CO2 performance.

Convenience

The Prius Plug-in Concept is every bit as comfortable, convenient and practical as the latest generation Prius. As in its sister model, the air conditioning can be activated remotely, when the vehicle is plugged, enabling the cabin to be brought to the right temperature before setting off.

To help drivers maximise the benefits of driving in EV mode, it is equipped with a Hybrid System Indicator, which includes information on the EV driving range, based on the level of battery charge. An engine starting point display has also been added to emphasise the increase in EV driving range.

The Electro Multi-Vision screen on the dashboard also offers a display that highlights the plug-in hybrid's contribution to reducing CO2 emissions, showing a computer graphic image of single tree that gradually increases to whole forest as the battery charging process takes place.

As a significant development in environmentally responsible mobility, the Prius Plug-in Hybrid Concept offers commuters and people who live in urban areas all the benefits of an electric vehicle, with none of the drawbacks.

Outline technical specifications

ENGINE
Displacement (cc) 1,798
Max. power (bhp @ rpm) 97 @ 4,000
Max. torque (Nm @ rpm) 142 @ 4,000
MOTOR
Type Permanent magnet synchronous motor
Max. output (bhp) 79
Max. torque (Nm) 207
HV BATTERY
Type Lithium-ion
EV cruising range (miles) 12.5
Recharging time (min) 100V 180 (target)
200V 100 (target)
EMISSIONS
CO2(g/km) <60
EXTERIOR DIMENSIONS
Overall length (mm) 4,460
Overall width (mm) 1,745
Overall height (mm) 1,490

Disclaimer

1.     Fuel consumption and CO2 values are measured in a controlled environment, in accordance with the requirements of Directive 80/1268/EEC, including its amendments, on a basic production vehicle. For more information about the basic production vehicle, please contact the Toyota press office.

2.     The fuel consumption and CO2 values of your vehicle may very from those measured. Driving behaviour, as well as other factors (such as road conditions, traffic, vehicle conditions, installed equipment, load, number of passenger, etc) play a role in determining a car's fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.