Prius Prime Stories February 27

TL;DR – The 2017 Prius Prime doesn’t deserve coverage on Electrek. While a significant improvement over its predecessor the Prius Plug-in, the Prime’s internal combustion engine continues to turn on unpredictably and it cannot function as a complete car without gasoline.

Background:

I’ve been a Toyota Prius owner for almost 8 years. I loved my 2008 Prius so much that I decided to step up my game and get a 2012 Prius Plug-in. I regret that now because we had also looked at the Chevy Volt but the rear seat room vs. the Volt’s 4 seat option won out.

The local Toyota dealership sold me on the Plug-in version of the Prius getting 12 miles of range before the ICE motor kicked in. For me, that would have taken care of my commute and my wife could have gotten to work, charged up and gotten home without ever using a drop of gasoline. For long trips we’d use the gasoline and still get the great 50+mpg mileage of a Prius. Perfect! I don’t need the 2012 Volt’s 43 miles of range. Except one thing: The Prius Plug-in doesn’t go 12 miles on electricity or, in my case, often even get out of the driveway on electricity…

And I found out this week that Toyota’s new Prius Prime, while certainly an improvement in many areas over the Plug-in it replaces, still doesn’t function like the EV it pretends to be… expand full story

Prius Prime Stories June 20, 2016

When Toyota introduced the 2010 Prius years ago, the automaker offered an optional solar panel on the roof of the car. The idea to power your electric vehicle from direct sunlight is understandably appealing, but the system was actually only able to power the climate control inside the system and not the battery pack to power the vehicle.

While solar is great as a source of energy and something we follow diligently here, it requires a great deal of space to make it worthwhile for transportation applications.  Toyota has said that it didn’t connect the previous $2000 Prius Solar Panel option directly to the engine because it caused radio interference with the car’s stereo. In reality, not much power would have been gained. The previous panels were 50watts or about a 6th of a solid 3’x5′ solar panel.

Now the Japanese automaker is bringing back the feature in the new 2017 Prius Plug-In, now renamed the ‘Prius Prime’, and it will reportedly be able to charge your battery pack to contribute to the vehicle’s electric range. Looking at the size, I’d guess it is at least 3-5 times bigger/more powerful than the previous Kyocera solar panel but even then, will it have a meaningful impact on driving/range?  expand full story

Prius Prime Stories March 24, 2016

One of the most eye-catching elements of Toyota’s new Prius Prime may not be its Tesla-inspired center touchscreen, but a slightly concave rear window that channels air over the spoiler and was unnoticed during our first look. expand full story

Prius Prime Stories March 23, 2016

Toyota debuted its next generation Prius plug-in hybrid, now called the ‘Prius Prime’ today at New York Auto Show. The vehicle is the second generation plug-in hybrid Prius and it’s built on the Japanese automaker’s fourth generation Prius platform unveiled last year.

The new version of Toyota’s flagship hybrid is expected to achieve 22 miles of range on a single charge and a 120+ MPGe rating. Those are company estimates and not verified by the EPA yet. expand full story

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