Recently, I wrote the Prius had a "second phase" goal of 37 miles in electric-only mode. In the video above, Hans-Peter Wandt of Toyota says the "step one" Prius in testing can go 60 to 100 kph (100 kph is 62 mph) and that future models will go "beyond" that. The current Prius' top speed in electric-only mode is 35 mph. If Hans means step one is the Prius being tested in France, then that means Toyota has developed an electric engine that breaks the speed limit.
The stage one Prius, currently in testing, does not use lithium-ion and only has a 6-mile range. Does it matter if the plug-in Prius can go 67 MPH if it has a 6-mile range? A powerful electric engine in the first phase Toyota could mean a smaller gas engine, which means lower weight and maybe higher mileage. Even if the phase one gas motor is the same size as the current Prius, the second phase Prius will be able to get 37 miles per charge and go 67 mph.
A Prius with that sort of electric-only range coupled with an electric-only speed of 67 mph is on par with the Volt. It's very possible that we'll hear Toyota start to make the same claims as GM has with the Volt, i.e, the car gets very high mileage, you may never have to use gas, etc. And the "second phase" Prius may even have higher mileage. How is that possible? Remember, the series hybrid model may be less efficient than parallel hybrid model. Also, Hans mentions they are open to other power trains and he even mentions co-generation. Does that mean there is a natural gas Prius or natural gas charger in the works?
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