Toyota is planning on electrifying its Prius hybrid further in the coming years. After the plug-in hybrid version goes on sale next year, the Japanese manufacturer plans to make the plug-in powertrain setup standard on the Prius in 2014, according to a Reuters report.
The PHEV Prius uses a lithium-ion battery pack, and will be able to cruise on electric-only power for approximately 13 miles before the 1.8-liter inline-four cylinder gas engine kicks in. Toyota claims that it can be fully charged in 90 minutes on a 240-volt plug, or three hours on a 120-volt outlet.
Toyota is not the only automaker investing in plug-in electric vehicles. According to CNET, Volkswagen is also working on a line of PHEVs. VW CEO Martin Wintekorn made the announcement at the Vienna Motor Symposium this week that the German carmaker will begin rolling out a range of PHEVs starting in 2013, although he declined to specify exactly which models would get the new powertrain setup. Our bet is that it will begin with the limited-run XL1, which begins production that year, to be the first plug-in hybrid from VW. The XL1 concept car we drove earlier this year was powered by a 48-hp turbodiesel, two-cylinder engine mated to a 27-hp electric motor.