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Next Toyota Prius Plug-In To Have 10 Miles Of Electric Range: Here’s Why

You never know what you may find if you read through public comments on government proposals.

That’s how we found a broad hint that the next version of the Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid will have a continuous all-electric range of at least 10 miles.

Remember that the current car, which the EPA rates at 11 miles of electric range, only offers 6 miles of continuous electric range.

2012, 2013, and 2014 Toyota Prius

2012, 2013, and 2014 Toyota Prius

That’s because the output of its electric drive motor is low enough that it has to switch on its engine at one point during the test cycle, even though the battery pack has not yet been depleted, to maintain the necessary speed and acceleration.

In January 2012, the powerful California Air Resources Board (CARB) proposed a number of rule revisions for its zero-emission vehicle requirements.

Among them was the establishment of a new “BEVx” class of zero-emission vehicles with range extenders that offer less additional range than that provided by the battery pack.

That’s how the 2014 BMW i3 came to have only a 2.8-gallon gas tank for its range extender.

But another proposed change in the draft, 2012 Proposed Amendments to the California Zero Emission Vehicle Program Regulations, contained a comment by Toyota and a staff response concerning a minimum 10-mile all-electric range (or AER).
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