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Plug-in Prius trial results announced | Next Green Car

Interim findings from Toyota and EDF Energy’s demonstration of the Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) in London give encouraging, real-world data that show the technology can deliver greatly improved fuel efficiency and lower emissions in urban driving.

At the same time, the car’s easy-to-drive character and its ability to cover long distance trips is being appreciated by the fleet operators taking part in the programme.

Working in partnership with EDF Energy, Toyota has leased 20 PHEVs to London-based businesses and organisations to monitor both vehicle performance and recharging patterns.

Based on the third-generation Prius, the PHEV is equipped with a lithium-ion battery that allows longer journeys at higher speeds on electric power alone. Battery charge can be replenished by plugging into a suitable power supply.

Details of journey times, speeds, distances, fuel usage and vehicle recharging have been logged since the three-year demonstration began last summer. Information gathered so far shows that:

More http://www.nextgreencar.com/news/4531/Plugin-Prius-trial-results-announced

25.7.2011 Plug-in Prius trial results announced

Interim findings from Toyota and EDF Energy’s demonstration of the Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) in London give encouraging, real-world data that show the technology can deliver greatly improved fuel efficiency and lower emissions in urban driving.

At the same time, the car’s easy-to-drive character and its ability to cover long distance trips is being appreciated by the fleet operators taking part in the programme.

Working in partnership with EDF Energy, Toyota has leased 20 PHEVs to London-based businesses and organisations to monitor both vehicle performance and recharging patterns.

Based on the third-generation Prius, the PHEV is equipped with a lithium-ion battery that allows longer journeys at higher speeds on electric power alone. Battery charge can be replenished by plugging into a suitable power supply.

Details of journey times, speeds, distances, fuel usage and vehicle recharging have been logged since the three-year demonstration began last summer. Information gathered so far shows that:

* Average journey distance is 7.3 miles, with 59% of all journeys covering 3.1-12.4 miles.
* Average speed is 17.7mph, with 69% of journeys less than 18.6mph.
* Initial fuel consumption data indicate performance is 27% better than an equivalent diesel.
* Average recharging time is 72 minutes.
* More frequent recharging occurs when drivers have access to domestic charge points.
These results show that PHEV’s performance is well-suited to the demands of urban driving; the car is capable of running for up to 12.5 miles solely on its electric motor in EV mode – battery charge and road conditions permitting – at speeds up to 62mph. This means it can accomplish the great majority of typical urban journeys with zero petrol consumption and tailpipe emissions.

Furthermore, should the battery charge be used up in the course of a journey, or before a recharging opportunity, the PHEV will seamlessly switch to power from its full hybrid system, which includes a 1.8-litre VVT-i petrol engine. This means the driver need suffer no ‘range anxiety’ about the distance the car can cover.

User perceptions of the PHEV are also being monitored through regular interviews with drivers analysed by Oxford Brooks University. Feedback received so far shows a very positive response to the car and its performance, and to the procedure and equipment used for charging.

The London leasing demonstration is 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).

Michael Hurwitz, OLEV Director, said, “As a country determined to be at the global forefront of ultra-low emission motoring, the UK values the demonstration of the Prius Plug-in Hybrid very highly. These interim results provide encouraging early insights into how this exciting technology is used in the real world, and future recharging requirements.”

The experience already gained from the London demonstration supports the positive results Toyota is witnessing with its PHEV demonstration programmes with 200 cars in 18 countries across Europe, including a large-scale project with EDF involving 100 PHEVs in the French city of Strasbourg.

Data analysed from the full European programme show average fuel consumption that is 36% better than a best-in-class diesel car of equivalent size, and 49% better than a similar size best-in-class petrol model.

The results show that the PHEV’s 12.5-mile (20km) EV range is sufficient to cover most day-to-day travel needs of the drivers taking part in the programme – the average European journey distance is 8.2 miles (13.2km), and two thirds of all journeys are of less than 12.5 miles.

22% of drivers have even been able to drive further than the official 12.5-mile range in EV mode. Electric-powered driving so far has accounted for 33% of all miles driven in the PHEV demonstration.

A significant part of the programme has been EDF Energy’s installation of smart metered charging infrastructure at workplaces and a home location. Consumption data tied to driver, vehicle and charge point are captured through a keypad identification system to gain an in-depth insight into charging patterns and preferences and use of the charging infrastructure.

Initial results reveal different approaches to recharging across the vehicle operators taking part in the programme, with dedicated drivers recharging most frequently and therefore maximising the low carbon and cost mileage benefits.

The results of the trial have informed the development of EDF Energy’s latest recharging product, EcoRecharge. This features an intelligent timer to enable easy off-peak recharging, and a smart meter to provide customers with statements on their vehicle’s carbon and electricity consumption. EDF Energy’s low carbon charge point package means households with a plug-in vehicle can save money by receiving 20% cheaper electricity during evenings and weekends with its Eco 20:20 tariff.

Jon Williams, Toyota GB Managing Director, said, “What we have witnessed so far in London, and in similar demonstrations across Europe, is hugely encouraging. It shows that Toyota’s plug-in hybrid electric technology has real value in the urban environment in reducing emissions and fuel consumption, while still giving drivers the freedom to cover much greater distances thanks to the full hybrid system. This bodes well for our anticipated market introduction of Prius Plug-in Hybrid from 2012.”

Eric Salomon, Energy Field Services Director at EDF Energy, said, “This programme has provided valuable learning and insight into charging behaviour patterns and requirements for PHEVs. This real world test of fleet charging infrastructure has been fundamental to the development of EDF Energy’s recharging packages which meet the needs of our customers and deliver low carbon electricity for electric motoring.”

The on-going data collection continues to provide Toyota and EDF Energy with a great resource for learning more about the priorities and preferences of end users, both in terms of how they use their vehicle and their recharging requirements. Together with experience and information gained from other demonstrations in Europe, this will enable an effective strategy to be prepared for designing and marketing a full production PHEV and for shaping and introducing the most effective charging opportunities and infrastructure to promote low carbon energy usage.

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