Next-Generation Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid To Enter Production In October 2016


Current Prius Plug-In Hybrid

Current Prius Plug-In Hybrid

Current Prius Plug In Hybrid

Current Prius Plug In Hybrid

The start of production for the next-generation Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid has been delayed substantially as Toyota works to reportedly maximize the vehicle’s fuel economy.

The production delay is more than just a few months.  According to Automotive News, the fourth-generation Prius was expected to enter the production cycle next Spring.  Now, December 2015 is the earliest that we should expect to see a next-gen Prius roll off the line.

Automotive News adds:

“The Prius confirmation vehicle, a prototype typically built 12 months before Job 1 to ensure performance, is scheduled for around November 2014.”

There will be a next-gen Prius Plug-In Hybrid.  That’s been confirmed long ago.  So, was does this setback mean for the plug-in version of the Prius?  Well, it’s expected to enter production in October 2016.  That’s so far away that both the next-gen Chevy Volt will be available, and the next generation LEAF will be soon to arrive.

Automotive News explains the extensive delay for the next-gen Prius as follows:

“Reasons for the roughly half-year delay are murky. One source said engineers were tweaking the car to ensure maximum fuel economy, possibly adjusting body and chassis issues.”

As expected, Toyota wouldn’t offer an official comment.  Automakers almost never make on-the-record statements on future product plans.

The next-generation Prius plug-in is expected to return 55 MPG, offer more electric-only range (15-20 miles) and feature wireless charging.

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

Prius Plug-In Hybrid EPA Ratings

Prius Plug-In Hybrid EPA Ratings

Source: Automotive News

Category: Toyota

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27 responses to "Next-Generation Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid To Enter Production In October 2016"
  1. Jean-François says:

    What I would like to see is a Prius V with a plug-in option. Or they should just stop selling non-plug-in…but we know that it won’t happen…

  2. Brandon says:

    turd on wheels

  3. David Murray says:

    I hope they shoot for at least 20 miles of electric range. That should be the bare minimum on a PHEV. You also have to wonder, with the cost of the charging system and other changes as compared to a standard hybrid, adding an extra couple of kWh of batteries shouldn’t add that much cost. Yet, going from 11 miles range to 20 would make a significant difference in functionality.

    1. Spec9 says:

      Even the 20 mile range PHEVs are kind of stupid. I don’t get it . . . at current battery prices, the government is paying to have a 16KWH battery put in there for free . . . so why not take advantage of it? Seems crazy not to.

      1. Anton Wahlman says:

        And when the government runs out of money, then what?

        1. evnow says:

          Governments always run out of money. Britain did in 16th century, for eg.

      2. David Murray says:

        I would imagine the primary reason is the space available in the vehicle. But also because of the MSRP and the effect it has on people’s first perception of the vehicle. (most people don’t realize the government credits at first) And as somebody else has already said, the credits won’t last forever. It is good to have some PHEVs priced where people will be able to afford them.

  4. philip d says:

    They are probably tweaking it in order to squeeze as many extra miles to try to keep ahead of the rest of the ever growing pack of hybrids that are not far behind.

    The others arguably don’t have as much research and refinement as the Prius (Maybe with the exception of the new Accord hybrid) but they are close enough that it is getting harder and harder for Toyota to continue to keep getting smaller and smaller marginal improvements to set the Prius apart from the other hybrids.

    The problem they face is they are bumping up against the ceiling of efficiency of an ICE with a simple regenerative breaking system and a small battery. Now they can only squeeze improvements from a basket of components like weight, engine efficiency and aero. Aero might get them another mile or two. Weight could be greatly exploited but at the expense of a higher cost if they switch to more expensive and lighter materials. And they can’t do that without bumping the price up and above EREVs like the Volt and into the range of the newer plugins. They certainly can’t shed weight by making it smaller.

    Inevitably they will come to the conclusion that in order for the Prius to continue to exist it will have to become a serious plug-in unlike the current PIP.

    Then as plug-ins continue to pack in more and more energy
    dense batteries they will be forced to as well, ultimately ending up with an EREV or EV in the end.

    1. realdb2 says:

      My thoughts exactly. On one hand, Toyota has gone on record saying pure EVs are too expensive because of the battery cost. On the other hand I wonder just how much more efficient the Prius can get without adding more batteries??

      Clearly the sales of other plug in vehicles are taking away from the Prius (#1 traded in car for the Volt I believe) but I’m not sure about whether or not sales are declining or if the rate of increase is slowing??

      1. OceanRailroader says:

        What the Prius is like it is like the Steam Locomotives of the 1950’s. It was state of the art for the time. But the thing is like the steam locomotives there is only so much power you can get from a tech before it becomes outdated when you have something more efferent comes on the road.

        The Pruis days were numbered when the first Chevy Volt, Tesla and Nissan leaf hit the highway back in 2010.

        The Chevy Volt could in theory become the best Prius killer out there if the price was the same as the Prius. Also if generation two of the Chevy volt has 80 miles EV range and DC Fast Charging it could really wreak the Prius.

        If Nissan comes out with a 150 mile Nissan Leaf then it would really wreak them to.

  5. kdawg says:

    “The next-generation Prius plug-in is expected to return 55 MPG, offer more electric-only range (15-20 miles) and feature wireless charging.”

    55mpg – meh
    15-20miles AER – way too little, especially for 2016/2017
    wireless charging – Yay!

    1. OceanRailroader says:

      Sounds like fresh meat for the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf.

    2. mike w says:

      Toyota is probably looking to get the most “bang for the buck”. tweaking the gas mileage doesn’t cost as much as adding battery capacity. Gasoline costs more than electric per mile. But I agree you need at least 40 miles all electric range before I’ll look at buying one.

  6. pjwood says:

    milking the mpg paradigm.

  7. SeattleTeslaGuy says:

    So, traditional hybrid technology is getting close to it’s asymptotic efficiency limit of, say, 60 mpg. This puts Totoya in a real bind because FVCs, even in the most optimistic scenarios are at least 10 years away from broad deployment. Toyota will spend 10 long years with the same old technology while the BEV and EREV guys eat their lunch. They are going to have to offer something to compete. I’d bet on a bigger battery PI Prius as their stopgap. Though it is my understanding that their isn’t a lot of room left in the current prius to add more stuff. Maybe higher density batteries.

  8. HVACman says:

    Toyota realizes that the Gen 2 Volt will be GM’s new bullet aimed directly at the Prius. They might even have some inside spies at GM who have filled them in on the new Volt’s operating envelope and they realized they needed to do a bit more to the nex-gen Prius to remain competitive.

    Anyone who thinks that gas-mpg isn’t important to GM for the gen 2 Volt are not thinking of the verbal and marketing battles that will be breaking loose. Gen 2 will not be a niche vehicle – it’s gotta stand on its own feet in a mass market which will not be as tech savvy as we early-adopters.

    I sometimes wonder if Toyota’s FCV fetish is actually a massive decoy while they secretly work on a massive next-generation EV and PHEV program.

    1. I have wondered the same thing. Even if Toyota produced a stellar FCV at a competitive price, the limited infrastructure would stymie sales.
      H2 infrastructure will take far longer to roll out than DC QC, if for no other reason than zoning and permitting.

      I don’t believe Toyota execs are that short-sighted.

      1. mike w says:

        The only reason Toyota is pushing their FCV is to get the ZEV credits.

  9. qwerty says:

    Milking the HSD cow as usual.
    Keep the 50mpg increase AER to 20+ miles.
    Keep the same price. I know Lithuim cells can be stuffed into the same pack with a lot more kw/hr capacity. Toy just wants to keep milking that fat HSD cow.

  10. David Murray says:

    I hope they get rid of the “boost converter” and just use a higher voltage battery pack. I realize why they did that design for the NiMh pack, but from what I understand the boost converter is what severely limits power on the PiP, as compared to other PHEVs. So Hopefully they can move to a better battery pack which will give more range and more EV power so that it can drive without the ICE running so often.

  11. Bloggin says:

    The long range trend is moving away from conventional hybrids and moving to PHEVs.

    This is because the price between a conventional Hybrid and PHEV is very close now at abut $3,000. Then the plug-in gets to take a $4k to $7,500 tax credit, along with about $2,000 in state incentives. And the hybrid gets nothing.

    Which makes it obvious that the plug-in is a much better option based on fuel cost savings and vehicle costs.

    Which also explains why YTD the Prius conventional hybrid sedan is down -17.5% and the Prius plug-in is up 112%.

    And Fusion Hybrid is up just 3.24% while the Fusion Energi is up 259%. And even the C-MAX Energi is up 45% while the struggling Hybrid is down -49%.

    Even if Toyota is able to get 5 more mpg out of the Prius hybrid, I don’t see that changing the downward sales trend. But at minimum I expect the Prius plug-in to off the full 11 EV miles. Adding more batteries adds weight, and reduces the hybrid mpg that Toyota won’t sacrifice.

    Remember, this is Toyota and they are not about to spend any additional dollars on new hybrid tech if they can ‘tweak’ the old(1997) until it gives out.

    I see the trend being what we call a ‘hybrid’ being blended with traditional ICE vehicles as components like auto start-stop and break regen, and being expected on a conventional ICE vehicle.

    Everything thing else should get a plug.

    With VW/Audi entering the market with 31 EV mile PHEVs, it’s expected that will become the new PHEV entry range point, with Ford/Lincoln matching or exceeding that range for their second generation PHEVs due 2016 as MY2017.

    1. DaveMart says:

      VW/Audi are likely to hit around 20-25 EV range on the EPA, not the 31 miles on the more lenient European cycle.

  12. Anthony says:

    The current PIP is “training wheels” for plug-ins at Toyota (excluding the Tesla-powered Toyota Rav4).

    Toyota needs to take the training wheels off for the second generation. 20 miles AER is the baseline.

  13. Priusmaniac says:

    A next generation Plug-in Prius is non sense. Toyota need to move to the BMW i3 serial system with a battery of 50 KWh and their brand new direct free piston generator as a Rex. Anything short to that will be siting duck for the triple five second gen Volt and tesla Model 3 and probably others like the BMW i5 and BYD models.

    If their FCV is not a deflection for that new vehicle Toyota is starting its decline right now.

  14. Davey says:

    IMO, I simply think milking the Prius is a non starter. I don’t care if I get 45 or 55 MPG. There’s no money there. I believe it will be proven that the market is towards larger PHEV than the Prius. If toyota could take the highlander hybrid and make it PHEV, they would capture a huge market that mits outlander is owning.
    Even sponsoring an aftermarket company would make some good noise.

  15. Art says:

    A large part of this discussion fails to recognize that Toyota makes the most technically refined and reliable hybrids and plug-in hybrids in the world. Keep the faith and you will see this leadership continue in the years ahead.

  16. Riko says:

    I own a generation III Prius and a 2014 Volt and there is no comparison. The Volt accelerates better, rides much better, and handles like a BMW. With 40 miles electric range, I am averaging 164 mpg without even trying. You can buy a new Volt for about $26K after the $7.5K federal tax credit which is similar to the cost of a new Prius. Volt wins hands down.