Autogyaan: Prius Plug-in
When Toyota first introduced the Prius, not everybody understood how a hybrid works. Its now after years of publicity, the Prius is becoming a common sight on the roads The Prius first went on sale in Japan in 1997, making it the first mass-produced hybrid vehicle. It was subsequently introduced worldwide in 2001. The Prius is sold in more than 70 countries and regions, with its largest markets being those of Japan and North America. In May 2008, global cumulative Prius sales reached the milestone 1 million vehicle mark, and in September 2010, the Prius reached worldwide cumulative sales of 2.0 million units. The U.S. is the largest market, with 1 million Prius sold by early April 2011, and Japan reached the 1 million mark in August 2011. Since its launch in 2009, the third-generation model has sold more than 1 million units worldwide by September 2011.
The 2012 version of the Prius will have the Prius plug-in. The Prius Plug-in is the most advanced member of the Prius Family yet. Combining an extended all-electric mode with proven hybrid technology, it can go up to 475 miles before the next fill-up, depending on driving conditions. It also come with the convenience of plug-in charging with rapid recharge times.
The idea of battery-powered cars is cool. But in reality, the weight, size, cost and durability of the large-capacity batteries required to fully power Electric Vehicles (EV) are critical issues that aren’t fully solved. But in Prius, Small lithium-ion battery packs that complement the proven Prius hybrid-electric power train.
The Prius Plug-in’s lithium-ion battery is lightweight and compact, weighing a total of just 330 lb. So you get useful EV power and driving range without the costs of an electric-only EV battery, while maintaining plenty of cargo space and seating for five. Also, charge time from a standard 120V household outlet is only 3 hours.
Built to last for the life of the vehicle, Prius lithium-ion batteries have undergone more than three years of coordinated field testing in Japan, North America and Europe, in a wide variety of climatic environments and driving conditions.
The Prius Plug-in’s 4-cylinder engine is incredibly fuel-efficient. The first reason for this is its 1.8L displacement, which allows it to generate higher output and torque while operating at lower speeds. In addition to increased efficiency, you also get a much quieter ride.
Another factor is the elimination of the drive belt, along with an electric-driven water pump, which reduces supplemental engine load. This allows the engine to control the flow of coolant with increased precision based on vehicle conditions.
The engine also features a Cool-EGR system to lower recirculated exhaust temperatures, as well as a recirculation system that reuses heat to help the Prius Plug-in warm up even quicker.
The electric motor in the Prius Plug-in is specially calibrated to give greater fuel efficiency across a variety of driving conditions. And since it operates at an incredibly high rotational speed, it’s able to generate more output in a smaller, lighter design—which also helps in improving overall fuel economy.