Next Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid to get 35-mile electric range?

Next Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid to get 35-mile electric range?

Toyota may be preparing to give its Prius Plug-In Hybrid a significant boost in electric range.

The next-generation PHEV will allegedly be capable of driving “30 to 35 miles” on battery power alone, unnamed sources told Green Car Reports. If true, the upgrade effectively triples the current model’s range.

The 2015 Prius PHEV integrates a 4.4 kWh battery pack, compared to the standard Prius hybrid’s 1.3 kWh module. Toyota suggests drivers can expect to drive for up to 11 miles on battery alone, though the official EPA figures list just six miles of all-electric range before the engine kicks in and shares the driving load with the remaining juice in the battery.

The extra range presumably requires a much larger battery, potentially more expensive despite the decline in lithium-ion prices since the PHEV was introduced approximately three years ago.

Further sweetening the deal, the Prius platform is expected to bring a 10 percent improvement in overall fuel economy. With a potential 35-mile electric range and 55 mpg combined rating, the Prius PHEV could better compete with the 50-mile, 41-mpg Chevrolet Volt that will arrive for the 2016 model year.

The redesigned Prius is rumored to be slated for public debut later this year in Los Angeles, though the plug-in hybrid is not expected to be introduced until sometime next year.

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