Toyota launches fully redesigned Prius PHV in Japan

JAPAN NOW

Toyota Motor Corp. on Wednesday began selling in Japan a fully redesigned Prius plug-in hybrid car, with enhanced eco-friendly performance enabling it to travel 68.2 kilometers in electric vehicle mode when fully charged, more than twice as far as the earlier model.

The new Prius PHV also gets 37.2 kilometers per liter of gasoline in hybrid mode, and has a top speed of 135 km per hour in EV mode, up from 100 kph.

Toyota Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada said, "Plug-in hybrid vehicles will likely become the main stream hybrid model" among ecological vehicles.

The Prius PHV has a battery that can be charged from a household outlet, and with a quick charging method that takes only about 20 minutes to power it to 80 percent of capacity. Some new models also feature solar panels to help power the vehicle.

Japan's largest automaker targets monthly sales of 2,500 of the new Prius PHV, which carries a suggested retail price of 3.26 million yen ($28,500).

In January 2012, Toyota released the Prius PHV and has sold about 22,000 at home and approximately 75,000 globally, according to the automaker.

==Kyodo

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