Toyota have just announced via a press release that it has created a prototype â€˜â€™plug-inâ€ Prius and that a bunch of them have hit the streets in Japan to collect fuel efficiency and emissions data.
The â€œplug-inâ€ version of the Prius has increased battery capacity that allows it to cruise for longer in electric-motor-only mode and also allows the batteries to be recharged by plugging into the domestic electrical supply thus reducing the requirement for in-travel charging by running the wheezy little four-pot petrol engine.
â€œAlthough 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 technologyâ€, states Toyotaâ€™s press release.
In the near future, in an effort to reduce CO2 emissions and reduce our dependency on fossil fuels you may be able to buy a â€œplug-inâ€ hybrid. Perfect really - an engine that still uses petrol and a plug in feature that allows you to recharge the batteries via our coal-fired (mega polluting) power grid. The only challenge remaining will be staying awake when you drive it. We canâ€™t waitâ€¦