Next-Gen Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid to Get More Electric Range, 55 MPG Combined and Wireless Charging Capability

AUG 29 2013 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 41

Bring It On...More Electric Range That Is

Bring It On…More Electric Range That Is

Screen Cap From Latest Toyota Prius Plug-In Ad Campaign

Screen Cap From Latest Toyota Prius Plug-In Ad Campaign

Toyota has confirmed that it’ll listen to the requests of current Prius Plug-In owners and potential buyers who have long asked for more electric-only range in future PiPs.

Speaking in Ypsilanti, Michigan, at the 2014 World Hybrid Tour, Toyota’s Satoshi Ogiso stated that the next-gen plug-in Prius will be developed alongside the upcoming 2015 conventional Prius.

This likely means that we’ll see the next-gen PiP sometime in late 2016/early 2016.

Update: Delays have pushed production back reportedly until the 2017 MY – Fall of 2016

What’s in store for future PiPs?  Ogiso had this to say:

“We have been listening very carefully to Prius PHV owners and are considering their requests for additional all-electric range. We have also heard from owners that they would like a more convenient charging operation.  In response, we are developing a new wireless/inductive charging system that produces resonance between an on-floor coil and an onboard coil to transmit power to the battery, providing charging without the fuss of a cable.”

Ogiso adds that verification testing will be conducted on wireless charging in Japan, the US and Europe in 2014.

So, wireless charging and more electric range.  That’s what we should expect to see in the next-gen PiP.

The question now becomes how much of a bump in electric-only range should we expect?

The current plug-in Prius has an electric-only range, as listed by the EPA, of 11 miles.  We’d love to see Toyota get that figure into Ford Energi territory (21 miles).  It seems unlikely that Toyota could achieve that figure without severely compromising cargo space (as is the case in both the C-Max Energi and Fusion Energi), so we think somewhere in 15-mile area is more probable.

There’s one more figure to throw into the mix. Toyota says that the 2015 Prius (non plug-in) will get a combined MPG rating of around 55 (up from today’s 50 MPG figure for the 2013 Prius).  Since the plug-in version of the Prius today carries the same combined MPG rating as the conventional version, we have to assume that the next-gen PiP will match that project 55 MPG combined mark, too.

So, wireless charging, 15 miles of electric range and 55 MPG combined.  That’ll make for a worthy plug-in, don’t you think?

Toyota's Hybrids Gather for Reunion of Sorts

Toyota’s Hybrids Gather for Reunion of Sorts

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41 Comments on "Next-Gen Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid to Get More Electric Range, 55 MPG Combined and Wireless Charging Capability"

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Hopefully this time they won’t price the plug-in as if batteries cost over $1k/kWh.

However, the big questions are:
– Will the new Prius drive like the old Prius?
– Will it have the same rear visibility issues due to the spoiler?

Because if the answers are yes, they’ll still have limits on their market and I know at least 4 people who won’t buy one.

No not really.
Frankly I have been a Prius fan since its very beginning and even started the early gridable hybrids Group to discuss on ways to get further which actually emulated a lot of follow on projects. But over the years the Prius lost its Latin meaning of being first, since the Volt came out with close to 40 EV miles, the Nissan Leaf and obviously Tesla. So over the years the Prius has become a good car but not much more then that anymore.
To recoup the original meaning the Prius would have to emulate on the BMW i3 and that is a perfect job for Toyota because it means improving the battery and miniaturizing the Rex while keeping the Prius size. Miniaturizing the rex could be done by going for a Direct Free Piston Generator or perhaps a micro Wankel and we all know the Japanese are experts in miniaturization.
Of course adding a wireless charging system is interesting but the main point is battery and miniaturized rex shoebox size.
It means saying farewell to the planetary gear system and the conventional engine but after all the very first Prius meant saying farewell to the all thermal propulsion.

Yeah, if Toyota built a BEVx . . . an EV with a very small gas range-extender, that could really be a killer vehicle. They don’t seem interested though. They seem to be sticking with conventional hybrids and going down the fuel cells path.

Oh and wireless charging really only matters if you have decent battery capacity. Otherwise it’s a lot of cost for little return.

Actually, I was thinking the opposite. With the Prius’ tiny battery, you have to plug it in so darn often that you start to have gains by eliminating the plug. For example, with my Leaf, I only have to plug it in every other day. With a PiP, I would have to plug it in 3-4x a day.

What Satoshi Ogiso said is that Toyota is “considering” the PiP owners request for additional all-electric range. That does not necessarily mean that the new PiP is going to have an additional AER, it means that Toyota is just considering it 🙂

Now if Nissan and Toyota push for wireless charging does this mean that we have to contend with yet another charging standard, or two, or more?

Hmmm….I already get 55mpg (average over the last 25,000 miles) in my 2011 Prius Five. I agree with others the BMW, Volt and Tesla are more appealing. Prius is a good standard car…but for me it’s not really pushing anything ground breaking. It will sell but other companies will be taking more of their market share.

I’m guessing the new Prius will get a body-style change and complete redesign for 2015. I seriously hope they consider the Plug-in during the design stage instead of after-the-fact. If they can figure out a way to get about 20 to 30 miles of EV range in a battery that is underneath the car, that would be fantastic. Add to that an ICE lockout function so the car can be driven as a 100% EV as long as there is power in the battery (just like the Energi models EV-Now mode). Increase the EV speed to 80mph or more. Add to that a better looking body style… Keep the Plug-in version priced no more than $5,000 premium over a similarly equipped standard Prius. and one last thing, make it available in all 50 states.

With all of that – The Plug-in Prius could be a real winner. I could see them selling tons of them!

Their stated aim was to have the Pi be an option for the next generation, so I’m sure they’ll be designing it in.

They’ll only make the PiP available everywhere when it’s more profitable. Right now it’s a combination of battery production and CARB that’s limiting it.

A PHEV should be a gas assisted configuration not electrically assisted, just as an EREV is. Put the HV batteries under the floor in a dedicated platform. You will need a sweet-spot of somewhere between 60-80 of AER to accommodate 95% of most daily driving needs. Go ahead and use HSD but configured for gas assist. You just need an ICE powerful enough to continue driving up to 350 total miles. It should have more AER like the BMW I3 but have ER capability like our Volt to drive as far as you want. Have a base model without a lot of bells & whistles and a couple more well equipped versions for people who want it JMO. We want more electric power without compromise of interior space or range anxiety. Improve the look and leave inductive charging for Lexus, later.

Now all they need to do is figure out how to bury wireless charging in the street, and goodbye range anxiety.

This is a possibility which always intrigues me. The drawbacks are obvious, though. Anything going into the road becomes the province of the public sector, which may not approach an installation in anything like an efficient or usable fashion. Application may be limited to public buses or trams, like these (excluding privately owned vehicles). Different systems my not be inter-operable. Legal infrastructure (for determining who gets the bill, for example) will vary widely enough to make wide-open implementation (including privately owned vehicles) a very complicated business. Municipalities will adopt any system which appears according to their own timing and needs, so finding a continuous route of any length will be rare. It’s a pity, in a way. If the technical, political and legal stars do manage to align, it would greatly benefit the State and Municipality’s complaint that EVs pay no road taxes.

I meant “mitigate” not “benefit.”

So, when are you going to support editing, Jay?

Short translation of this presser: Toyota is feeling the heat from the burgeoning EV market, into which they still don’t want to commit. And if they do want to take a real plunge, they want to be first at *something*.
Hence the gimmick of wireless charging, which IMHO will then be postponed to 2016 at the very least.
They can put in a Li-ion battery and double the PiP range yesterday if they really wanted, instead of just “considering the requests” yada yada.

Just FYI – the current PiP already uses a Li-Ion battery..

Thanks for the correction, my bad.

You might want to fix the common mistake of saying the PIP electric range is 11 miles, that involved using gas. It’s actually only 6 miles. I explained just halfway through this video, zooming in on the EPA sticker…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cetRkwUg7Q8

MrEnergyCzar

While your statement is technically true, it is very misleading. It is certainly possible to drive the PiP far more than 6 miles in EV only. The problem is the EPA test requires a certain speed/acceleration at the 6 mile point, which causes the PiP’s engine to come on. If the PiP had an option to lock out the ICE like the energi models do, that would change the EPA rating to reflect the real range.

You should be able to drive in EV mode at any speed to claim any all electric range, not under certain conditions. Some people in a PIP can feather it and get 15 miles, no different than the top Volt guy getting 72 ev miles, it doesn’t change the EPA range however…

MrEnergyCzar

This car is like what the James River & Kanawha is to railroads in the 1870’s Virginia. The builders of the canal said they would start it in 1830 and get it finished by 1850. They started work on the canal and got it partly finished by 1855 even as railroads where being built in the 1840’s.The Railroads in this battle are Tesla and GM and the canals are any EV with less 30 miles of battery range and gas hybrids.

LOL. GM !

I know what GM is doing about all this – setup a committee to “study” Tesla.

What sinister about GM and the Canal Company along with several other major car companies is the leadership still has the same mind set in that they don’t view EV’s as the wave of the future but as a pain.

They’re just dragging their feet until their fool-cell vehicle arrives in 2 years, which they think is The Answer.

Maybe the radiation has fogged their brains. Oh well, they’re free to build whatever they want, I’m just glad I’m free to buy something else.

“fool-cell” That is a good one.. I’ll have to borrow that expression.

I think if it is found to be true that the AER increases to 15 miles from today’s 11…then they may as well forget about the PiP. Even an AER of 20 miles like on the C-Max Energi is too low by most people’s standards. The sales charts appear to agree with that assessment.

I agree. If Toyota wimps out again and only improves electric range from 11 to 15, other manufacturers will pass them by.

Well, the way the tax-credit is currently structured, it is silly not to put 16KWH of battery in there because the tax-credit covers the cost of battery cells. I think that is one of the reasons why the Volt is doing better than the PiP or Energi models.

Toyota is sand-bagging. Everyone knows they could build a great EV. But they don’t want to because they doing so well with conventional hybrids. Why compete hard against your own profitable product with a less-profitable plug-in line of cars?

By that same logic they would have never built the Prius. After all, it was not profitable for years and their regular gas cars were.

15 miles, a worthy plug-in? No.

I have a Ford Focus EV, 70-80 miles of EV range, and rent for long trips, and am drooling over the next generation Tesla that’s supposed to be cheaper.

Is anyone starting to get the feeling that auto makers don’t want us to like all-EV anything?

Also drooling over Tesla. I think it will be irrelevant what the Automakers want pretty soon. Tesla are gonna force them to rethink, when their Gen 3 comes out – I hope.

So after 6 years of ‘engineering’ all they came up with is 5mpg improvement? And this will more than likely be by going from the current tiny 99hp engine to close to the 74hp engine in the Prius c.

Consumer Reports testing has the Prius Liftback at 32 city and Prius C at 37 city. But much better highway mpg at 55 and 48 respectively.

And the EPA Electric + Gas range is 11 miles, with a Electric ONLY range of 7 miles on the sticker.

The next gen MY2016/17 C-MAX Hybrid and Energi, to be based on the new S-MAX Concept, will be more aerodynamic, lighter weight and have platform based battery storage. So finally no more retrofit batteries.

http://www.autoblog.com/2013/08/28/ford-s-max-concept-preview/

It’s actually 6 on the sticker. Awful…

Lol. Only 55mpg. I get that without even doing anything spectacular. In the month I drove 800 miles in 2 days, I got 75mpg. My August to date is 412mpg or nearly 8X this old-fangled hybrid’s goals.

Check this out Mr. Toyoda.

http://www.voltstats.net/Stats/Details/3090

The Prius electric only range is 6 miles. The 11 miles people mistakenly state involves using gas. Here it is in this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cetRkwUg7Q8

MrEnergyCzar

Not if you stay under 62mph and keep throttle input at moderate or lower. I owned a PIP before I bought my Volt. The 11 miles of pure EV range is accurate depending on conditions. Some get more some get less. If you are hitting the freeway then your commute is likely greater than 11 miles and maybe you should consider a different car if you want to stay in EV mode longer.

Stop using the EPA numbers. It’s sort of like me telling you that your Volt can’t do better than 38 miles EV. It all depends on how you use the vehicle.

I guess I’m missing something but I really don’t understand the battery sizing in the plug-in Prius. But then I’ve never even test driven a Prius so maybe I just don’t understand the allure.

1). I understand turning on the engine if you need a heater (the volt is very costly to operate using battery supplied heating, either for the cabin or the battery warming itself).

2). I understand running the gas engine if you need to accelerate. They saved expense by having a very small motor.

3). I don’t understand the small battery, nor the level 2 charging ‘encouragement’. The battery is so small, why bother with the added complications? Especially with the great increase in List Price.

According to Toyota.com, the battery size of the current PIPrius is 4.4 kwh. Epa on my 2011 volt is 35 miles. Shouldn’t the EPA on a PIP be 11 miles? Why only 6? Even at 11 miles, it takes into account the toyota is the larger vehicle.

It IS 11 miles EPA. There seems to be a lot of confusion over that number. The big problem is the way the Prius doesn’t give the driver a way to lock out the ICE. So during part of the EPA test, around 6 miles in, the amount of acceleration called for trips the ICE into firing up. So the EPA says 6 miles contiguous is all they were able to get under their regular test.

So yes, the PiP gets much more than 6 miles. Most drivers get 12-13 miles and some careful drivers can get over 20.

Thanks for the Clarification… Now why is the list price so much more with the battery and motor being so small?