Auto Service World
News   March 30, 2010   by Auto Service World

First Canadian Program Will Test Prius Plug-In

Toyota Canada Inc. announced the first phase of a national Canadian partnership for real-world demonstrations of the all-new Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid vehicle (Prius PHV).

Compared to traditional hybrids, the Prius PHV has the ability to recharge its newly developed lithium-ion battery from the electrical grid and travel longer distances and at faster speeds on electric-power alone.  For consumers, this technology means fuel savings and lower emissions, bringing us closer than ever before to the ultimate eco-car.

Toyota Canada Inc. (TCI) is working with 13 partners on the first phase of this national trial, including academics, provincial government departments, municipalities and provincial power authorities. Partnerships in four provinces – British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Québec – make this the first Canadian trial of advanced technology vehicles.

“We’re encouraged to be joined by partners, from across the stakeholder spectrum, to ensure a successful introduction of plug-in vehicles to Canada,” noted Sandy Di Felice, director, external affairs at TCI. “Each province that is a part of this national trial has already shown great vision in planning for plug-in vehicles.”

TCI will provide each province with a Prius PHV to conduct their local test program, and a fifth Prius PHV will remain with TCI for its own technical and marketing tests. Trials will begin shortly and continue through next winter to assess Prius PHV performance under a range of driving and climate conditions.

Each test vehicle will be fitted with a telematics device to capture performance data, and partners are encouraged to drive their Prius PHV in as many road, traffic and weather conditions as possible.

Based on the world’s most popular hybrid vehicle, the Toyota Prius PHV is designed to deliver a range of more than 20 KM and top speed of almost 100 KPH on battery alone. In addition, a small onboard Atkinson-cycle gasoline engine enables the vehicle to revert to hybrid mode and operate like a regular Prius – giving the vehicle the driving range and performance Canadians demand from today’s automobiles.

“We’re pleased that Canada has been selected as one of the participating countries for Toyota’s global test of the Prius PHV. This enables us to conduct technical and market acceptance tests unique to Canada’s driving experiences and climatic conditions,” Di Felice concluded. “Moreover, feedback from the Canadian tests will help ensure the Prius PHV performs well in any country where drivers encounter cold temperatures, ice and snow.”

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