2013 Toyota Prius Plug-in Overview
(Please note the 2013 Prius Plug-In is geographically limited to the following 15 states: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington. Toyota has no plans to expand distribution at this time.)
The 2013 Toyota Prius Plug-in hybrid is the latest evolution of the gas-sipping Prius and offers even more environmental and fuel economy benefits.
From the outside, the 2013 Prius Plug-in is virtually identical to the regular Prius sedan with its distinctive wedge shape. There are some added chrome pieces that give it some distinguishing visual flair on the door handles and liftgate. The gasoline filler door is on the driver’s side of the Prius Plug-in and the electric plug is found opposite on the passenger side.
The Prius Plug-in takes the Prius’ hybrid concept even further by expanding the size and capability of the battery and giving it plug-in charging capability. While the standard Prius uses its battery as more of an augment its conventional gasoline engine, the Plug-in uses a more powerful battery that charges via plug and offers some electric range. On a full charge, the Prius Plug-in’s battery is powerful enough to give it 15 miles of range at speeds of up to 62 mph before the gas engine kicks on, which means that short trips around town take no gas at all in the Plug-in.
Instead of the Prius’ nickel-metal-hybrid batter, the Prius Plug-in features a 4.4-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack. The gas engine is a 98-horsepower, 1.8-liter four-cylinder, which partners with a 60-kWh electric motor to produce a combined 134-horsepower. Toyota pegs charge times for the batter at three hours with a 120-volt plug or 1.5 hours with a 240-volt connection, offered with a specialized charging station.
This futuristic drivetrain and a slippery 0.25 coefficient of drag mean that the Prius Plug-in offers impressive mileage figures, both in electric and hybrid modes. When operating on electricity only, the 2013 Prius Plug-in gets an EPA estimated 95 mpge*, while in hybrid mode it matches the standard Prius at 51/49 mpg city/highway combined.
Inside, the Prius Plug-in gets extra standard features including Toyota’s Entune infortainment system that connects to your smartphone and offers a suite of apps, a navigation system, and HD radio. Also standard are automatic climate control, Bluetooth connectivity, USB/iPod port, an electric shifter, and heated front seats.
Safety features include antilock brakes, seven airbags, electronic stability system, and active front head restraints. Available safety features include adaptive cruise control and a precollision system.
The 2013 Toyota Prius Plug-in is the next evolution of the hybrid concept, offering both gas-free motoring and unlimited range thanks to its use of both new and old technology.
*mpge stands for “miles per gallon equivalent” and is used to measure the amount of distance the vehicle could travel on energy equivalent to one gallon of gasoline.