Toyota Motor Corp had a test-ride event of the next-generation "Prius PHV" plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) to be released in the winter of 2016 for mass media.
Considering that the differences between the previous Prius PHV and the "Prius" hybrid car are not clear, Toyota designed the new Prius PHV so that customers can experience differences from the fourth-generation Prius.
As reported by many media, the platform (and many other components) of the next-generation Prius PHV are the same as those of the Prius. Nevertheless, its design and driving performance are different from the fourth-generation Prius. Especially, its application range of EV driving and acceleration performance are significantly different from those of the Prius.
According to a Nikkei Technology Online reporter who test-drove the next-generation Prius PHV, even when the acceleration pedal is maximally pressed down at the time of starting moving the vehicle, the engine does not start moving and the vehicle can be driven only by the motor (electricity). Moreover, at the time of accelerating the vehicle, it runs on electricity until its speed reaches 80-90km/h (approx 49.7-55.9mph) even when the pedal is pressed down to some extend.
"Though it depends on the remaining battery level and required power, the engine is rarely activated unless the pedal is pressed down to about 90%," a Toyota engineer said.
"More than 80% of the travel distance per day can be covered by EV driving," said Kouji Toyoshima, the chief engineer of the Prius PHV.
Though we could not verify his statement this time, we could not find any element to deny it either during the test ride.