Interim findings from Toyota’s demonstration of the Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) in London give encouraging, real-world data that show the technology can deliver greatly improved fuel efficiency and lower emissions in urban driving, says the Japanese automaker.
Working in partnership with EDF Energy, Toyota has leased 20 Prius PHEVs to London-based businesses and organizations to monitor both vehicle performance and recharging patterns.
Based on the third-generation Prius, the Prius PHEV is equipped with a lithium-ion battery that lets the car be driven for longer distances and at higher speeds on electric power alone. Battery charge can be topped up simply by plugging the car into a dedicated electricity supply at the driver’s workplace, on-street charging point or home.
Details of journey times, speeds and distances, fuel usage and vehicle recharging have been logged since the three-year demonstration began last summer. Information gathered so far in the UK shows that:
• Average journey distance has been 7.3 miles, with 59% of all journeys covering between 3.1 and 12.4 miles
• Average speed has been 17.7mph, with 69% of journeys at speeds less than 18.6mph
• Initial fuel consumption data indicate performance is 27% better than an equivalent diesel
• Average recharging time is 72 minutes
• Where drivers have access to a domestic charge point, more frequent recharging occurs
According to Toyota, the results show that PHEV’s performance is well-suited to the demands of urban driving. It is capable of running for up to 12.5 miles solely on its electric motor in EV mode – battery charge and road conditions permitting – at speeds up to 62mph. This means it can accomplish the great majority of typical urban journeys with zero petrol consumption and tailpipe emissions.
Toyota says that should the battery charge be used up in the course of a journey, or before a recharging opportunity, PHEV will switch to power from its full hybrid system, which includes a 1.8-litre VVT-i petrol engine. This means the driver need suffer no “range anxiety” about the distance the car can cover.[wzslider height=”400″ lightbox=”true”]