Like its sister model, it is powered by a smooth, refined and ultra-efficient full hybrid powertrain, but thanks to new, rechargeable lithium-ion battery technology, it can cover longer distances and reach higher speeds on electric power alone, cutting tailpipe emissions to zero. And unlike all-electric vehicles, once the charge in the battery is used up, the car switches seamlessly to its hybrid system, so the driver need have no anxiety about journey distances. As a result, Prius Plug-in achieves a new low benchmark in its class for official CO2 emissions, 49 g/km.
Recharging the battery is simple and speedy, using a power point linked to a standard domestic or workplace supply, or an on-street charging point. Prius Plug-in comes with a charging cable set as standard, including five metres of cabling, that can be stored neatly in a dedicated area beneath the boot floor. Toyota has teamed up with British Gas as its UK partner which can provide both fleet and retail customers with site surveys and install the appropriate hardware.
Prius Plug-in is offered with a single equipment specification that, true to the car’s reputation for user-friend technology, includes a generous range of advanced features. These include LED daytime running lights and headlights; Toyota Touch and Go Plus with touchscreen controls, satellite navigation, voice recognition, rear-view camera and advanced Bluetooth for phone connection and audio streaming, a DAB digital tuner, eight-speaker JBL sound system, rain-sensing wipers and cruise control. Heated front seats, 15-inch alloy wheels with wheel caps and leather steering wheel trim are also included in the package. Black leather upholstery (£1,500) and rear privacy glass (£270) are available as options, together a Protection Pack (rear parking sensors and boot liner) and a Style Pack (exterior chrome trim elements), both at £360.
Four exterior colours make up the palette for Prius Plug-in, led by Sky Blue (metallic), a new shade exclusive to the model. Tyrol Silver and Novus Grey metallics and White Pearl Pearlescent are also available. In the cabin the upholstery is Minowa black fabric with optional Setana black leather.
The on-the-road price for Prius Plug-in is £32,895, but this falls to £27,895 with the benefit of the £5,000 Government grant available on new vehicle purchases, provided through the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV). The organisation of the grant element of the purchase will be undertaken by the Toyota Centre handling the sale Toyota (GB) and OLEV, placing no burden on the customer. The price the customer pays will include the grant, so he or she will not have to claim the money back after purchase. Toyota’s UK sales network is well experienced in handling this kind of arrangement, having handled similar processes for the previous PowerShift grants for hybrid vehicles and the Government’s scrappage scheme.