Driving Toyota's Prius PHV Electric Hybrid
If there has been one trend that has heavily influenced the automotive industry, it has been the march towards increased environmental responsibility, and consequently increased fuel economy. This effect was especially noticeable at this year’s North American International Auto Show, where both Porsche and Mercedes-Benz displayed hybrid-electric supercars (Porsche 918 RSR, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG E-Cell).
While it certainly isn’t as sexy as an SLS, Toyota’s Prius PHV, which was on hand in Detroit, is arguably more important. Not only is it Toyota’s first plug-in hybrid, it is a representation of a hybrid class that should grow considerably in the next few years. And, Toyota isn’t the only manufacturer with a plug-in on the way; Ford has already announced a PHV version of its C-Max people mover.
Our PHV was part of a fleet of 150 cars in the United States (and another 350 worldwide) that Toyota has been loaning to members of the media as well as government agencies and utility companies for testing. The data that is being collected from these cars will be used to perfect the production models when they arrive sometime in 2012.
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