Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announced on Wednesday that it has developed a plug-in hybrid vehicle, the Toyota Plug-in HV, and is the first manufacturer to have such a vehicle certified for use on public roads in Japan.
The PHEV is a 5 passenger vehicle with a cruising range of 8 miles (13 km) in the all electric mode with a top speed of 60 mph (100 km/hr). It is equipped with 2 - 6.5Ah nickel-metal hydride batteries powering a 67hp (50kW)/1,200-1,540 rpm synchronous electric motor with a maximum torque of 400N-m(40.8kg-m) @ 0-1,200rpm. The 1,496cc gasoline engine has a maximum output of 75 hp (56kW) @ 5,000 rpm and a maximum torque: 110N-m (11.2kg-m) @ 4,000rpm. Maximum output using both the engine and the battery is 134 hp (100 kW). Charging time for the battery is 1-1.5hrs @ 200V and 3-4hrs @ 100V.
Increased battery capacity gives it a longer electric-motor-only cruising range and a battery-charging device, distinguishes it from previous hybrids and allows users to replenish the batteries using household electricity. These features enable the vehicle to run more often in gasoline-free, electric-only mode, such as on short trips in city driving. The resulting fuel efficiency improvements mean lower CO2 emissions and less fossil fuel consumption and, therefore, less pollution. Also, charging the battery with less-expensive nighttime electricity lowers total running costs, providing an economic benefit to owners.
Although challenges still exist in the development of pure electric vehicles such as a limited cruising range and issues related to cost, TMC still views plug-in hybrid vehicles as a promising technology for allowing electricity to serve as a viable power source for automobiles and is committed to their continued development as a key environmental technology.
TMC plans to conduct initial public-road tests in Japan with eight units of the TOYOTA Plug-in HV to verify electric-motor-only cruising ranges and optimal battery capacity. While doing so, it plans to provide the government with data for formulating testing methods for emissions and fuel efficiency and to consider TMC's measures for promoting plug-in hybrids and the use of electricity. There are also plans to conduct public-road tests of the TOYOTA Plug-in HV in the United States and in Europe.
--- Main Specifications of Toyota Plug-in HV ------------
Name: TOYOTA Plug-in HV
Seating capacity: 5 persons
Performance in electric vehicle mode
Cruising range: 13km in the 10-15 Japanese test cycle
Maximum vehicle speed: 100km/h
Maximum output: 56kW(76PS)/5,000rpm
Maximum torque: 110N-m (11.2kg-m)/4,000rpm
Type: AC synchronous motor
Maximum output: 50kW(68PS)/1,200-1,540rpm
Maximum torque: 400N-m(40.8kg-m)/0-1,200rpm
Type: Nickel-metal hydride
Capacity: 13Ah (6.5Ah x 2)
Rated voltage: 202V
Maximum output: 100kW (136PS)
Power source: Household electrical power
Charging time: 1-1.5hrs (200V), 3-4hrs (100V)
According to the NY Times:
The prototype plug-in hybrids will be powered by two oversize packs of nickel-metal hydride batteries that are meant to simulate the kind of power Toyota expects future versions of the batteries to yield. The packs are capable of storing significantly more energy than the kind of battery found on the Prius, Toyota said.
This vehicle is an example of what many have been pleading for, a PHEV using todays technology. It would be possible to increase the driving range, at the expense of more weight and cost, with the addition of more batteries, especially in the US where the acceptable range is perceived as being higher.
Thanks to CalCars for the tips.