New Toyota Prius to be launched

The new Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid is to go on sale for just under £30,000 this summer, it has been announced.

The car can run for more than 15 miles on battery power alone as it has a larger battery capacity than the standard Prius model. Recharging the batteries takes one-and-a-half hours.

When the batteries are empty, the car switches into hybrid mode similar to the way the normal Prius works, the difference being that the new Plug-In Hybrid's official CO2 and fuel economy ratings of 49g/km and 134.5mpg significantly surpass the standard model's figures of 85g/km and 76.4mpg.

However, Toyota admitted that while these figures are possible in theory, they were the result of a European test cycle which was completed almost entirely on electric power.

Toyota said it should be possible to drive up to 769 miles before the tank needs to be refilled. It added that the engine only uses enough power on recharging the batteries to ensure the hybrid system works properly.

Copyright Press Association 2012