Toyota unveils new Prius hybrids amid skepticism over its EV strategy


2023 Toyota Prius Prime plug-in hybrid electric vehicle

Toyota

Toyota engine isn’t giving up on its flagship Prius hybrid anytime soon, despite investing billions in all-electric vehicles amid criticism it hasn’t moved fast enough in the emerging segment.

The automaker on Tuesday night unveiled new versions of the Prius hybrid and the Prius Prime, a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. Both are considered “electrified” rather than all-electric vehicles. They continue to use gasoline engines as well as electrical components which make the vehicles more fuel efficient.

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Toyota hasn’t released US specs for the 2023 Prius models, but the vehicles look noticeably different from current versions. The exterior is sportier, less offbeat and looks more aerodynamic. But the overall silhouette is still recognizable as a Prius.

2023 Toyota Prius Hybrid

Toyota

Moving forward with the Prius as other automakers pledge to go all-electric in the coming years is part of Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda’s electrification strategy. The automotive scion believes electric vehicles aren’t the only solution for automakers to achieve carbon neutrality – something the company hopes to do by 2050.

Simon Humphries, senior design director at Toyota, hasn’t been shy about facing recent criticism of the company’s ongoing plans to develop hybrids alongside battery electric vehicles, or BEVs, and others. potential technologies.

“With the current focus on BEVs, it seems like not a day goes by that you don’t hear, ‘So how long are you going to keep making hybrids?’ Disclaimer: Today I’m going to be talking about Toyota’s new hybrid car,” Humphries said during the livestream reveal in Japan.

Since the launch of the Prius in 1997, Toyota claims to have sold more than 20 million electrified vehicles worldwide. The company claims that these sales avoided 160 million tonnes of CO2 emissions, equivalent to the impact of 5.5 million fully electric battery vehicles.

Interior of the 2023 Toyota Prius

Toyota

Toyoda and other company executives have said that all-electric vehicles are not viable for many drivers – especially in the foreseeable future – because not all regions of the world will adopt electric vehicles at the same pace in due to the high cost of vehicles as well as a lack of infrastructure.

Humphries reiterated the company’s position, saying “the Prius is an eco-friendly car for everyone. In order to achieve carbon neutrality, everyone in the world must participate.”

“It’s a car for everyone to drive, not just a few. That’s its greatest strength and 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 achieves up to 56 mpg certified by the EPA. The 2022 Prius Prime plug-in hybrid starts at around $29,000 and has a 133 MPGe, which factors in the vehicle’s 25-mile all-electric range as well as the fuel economy of its gasoline engine.


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