Larger battery for new Prius

THE Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid has recorded official CO2 and fuel economy ratings of 49g/km and 134.5mpg, and will cost buyers less than £30,000 when it goes on sale this summer.

The figures are so low as a result of being able to complete much of the default European test cycle on electric power only, which may skew the results in relation to real-world driving.

In theory, though, these figures are possible. Designed with a larger battery capacity than the normal Prius, the Prius Plug-In can run for up to 15.5 miles on battery power alone, with a recharge time of 90 minutes.

Once battery power is depleted, the drivetrain automatically switches to a ‘hybrid only’ mode that mimics the way the standard Prius works, and yet betters that car’s efficiency figures with 76.4mpg and 85g/km of carbon dioxide.

Toyota claims that a total range of 769 miles is possible based on the published figures.

A standard hybrid Prius costs from £21,560; £8,500 less than the Plug-In model.