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Toyota unveils new Prius hybrids amid skepticism about its EV strategy




2023 Toyota Prius Prime plug-in hybrid electric vehicle

Toyota

Toyota Motor isn̵[ads1]7;t giving up its flagship Prius hybrid anytime soon, despite investing billions in all-electric vehicles amid criticism it hasn’t moved quickly enough into the emerging segment.

The automaker revealed late Tuesday new versions of the Prius hybrid and Prius Prime, a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. Both are considered “electrified” vehicles rather than fully electric. They continue to use gas-powered engines along with electric components that make the vehicles more fuel efficient.

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Toyota did not release US specifications for the 2023 Prius models, but the vehicles are noticeably different in style than the current versions. The exterior is sportier, less quirky and appears to be more aerodynamic. But the overall silhouette is still recognizable as a Prius.

2023 Toyota Prius Hybrid

Toyota

Moving forward with the Prius while other automakers are promising to go all-electric in the coming years is part of Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda’s electrification strategy. Autoscion believes electric cars are not the only solution for car manufacturers to achieve carbon neutrality – something the company hopes to do by 2050.

Simon Humphries, Toyota’s senior head of design, did not shy away from recent criticism about the company’s ongoing plans to develop hybrids alongside battery electric vehicles, or BEVs, and other potential technologies.

“With the current focus on BEVs, it doesn’t seem like a day goes by without hearing, ‘So how long are you going to keep making hybrids?’ Good disclaimer: Today I’m going to talk about Toyota’s new hybrid car,” Humphries said during the live unveiling in Japan.

Since the Prius was launched in 1997, Toyota says it has sold more than 20 million electrified vehicles worldwide. The company says these sales have avoided 160 million tonnes of CO2 emissions, which is equivalent to the impact of 5.5 million all-electric battery cars.

Interior of Toyota Prius 2023

Toyota

Toyoda and other company executives have said that all-electric vehicles are not viable for many drivers — especially in the foreseeable future — since not all parts of the world will adopt electric cars at the same pace because of the high cost of the vehicles. lack of infrastructure.

Humphries echoed the company’s position, saying that “Prius is an eco-car within everyone’s reach. To achieve carbon neutrality, everyone in the world needs to participate.”

“It’s a car to be driven by all people, not just the few. That’s its greatest strength and that’s the reason for its existence,” he said.

In the US, the 2022 Prius starts at around $25,000 – far less than most all-electric vehicles – and gets as much as an EPA-certified 56 MPG. The 2022 Prius Prime plug-in hybrid starts at around $29,000 and has a 133 MPGe, which takes into account the 25-mile all-electric range of the vehicle as well as the fuel economy of the gas-powered engine.



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