Fleets participate in three-year Prius Plug-in trial
Transport for London, the Government Car and Despatch Agency, the Metropolitan Police Service, News International and Sky are taking part in a three-year lease demonstration programme of the Toyota Prius Plug-in, which forms part of a worldwide initiative involving 600 Prius Plug-ins, 200 of which are in Europe.
The leasing programme is being provided as part of the Technology Strategy Board's Ultra Low Carbon Vehicle Demonstrator Programme, and benefits from funding support from the UK Government, through the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).
Under the initiative EDF Energy will provide charging points at workplaces, on-street and domestic locations, with data being gathered to provide data on energy savings and reduced emissions, recharging patterns and preferences.
The cars being tested are similar to the current third-generation full hybrid Prius, but come equipped with a powerful lithium-ion battery that can be recharged by being connected to a standard 240V electricity supply. The charging points incorporate a keypad that enables each user and vehicle to be identified when recharging takes place.
The rechargeable battery technology gives Prius Plug-in extended capabilities when it is driven in EV mode. The model is capable of running for up to 12.5 miles solely on its electric motor – battery charge and road conditions permitting – at speeds up to 62mph, with zero fuel consumption and zero tailpipe emissions. In combined cycle, it offers fuel consumption and CO2 emission figures of 108.6mpg and 59g/km respectively.
Toyota says that the London programme will support its plans to introduce a plug-in hybrid vehicle to the market within the next few years.
Miguel Fonseca, managing director Toyota (GB) PLC, said: 'I am delighted to be joining with EDF Energy to launch the UK's largest plug-in hybrid programme, a project that will deliver valuable insights into the behaviour and preferences of UK drivers as they engage with the technology for the first time and experience it in their everyday driving routines. Toyota is committed to developing sustainable, low-emissions mobility and Prius Plug-in marks another important element in our environmental leadership, and a further step towards its ambition of building the ultimate eco-car.
'I also welcome the partnership Toyota has formed with EDF Energy, with the Government organisations that are supporting us, and the end-users who have signed up to the programme. I am confident that everyone involved will gain important benefits through the course of the programme.'