President and CEO of Toyota Motors North America, Yoshi Inaba, introduced the all new Toyota Prius Plug-in at a ceremony at New York City Hall. He presented models to Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Janette Sadik-Khan, commissioner of the city department of transportation.
This plug-in test fleet is part of a program in the city to reduce emissions of carbon and greenhouse gases. It is also part of Toyota's preparation for launching their plug-ins during 2012. The car maker is dishing out over 160 plug-in hybrids for similar programs across the US.
"New York City has one of the world's most aggressive and comprehensive sustainability plans - PlaNYC, which aims to reduce carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030," Mayor Bloomberg said. Developing a more efficient fleet of vehicles is a major component in reaching that goal, he said.
It takes three hours to fully charge a Prius plug-in using a standard 110-volt outlet, or half that time using a 220-volt outlet (think the type used by clothes dryers). Once charged, the car runs about 13 miles at speeds up to 62 mph. Beyond that,Prius Plug-in switches to hybrid mode, running on combinations of gasoline and battery power, much like a standard hybrid. Over the past five years, New York has bought more than 2500 Toyota hybrid vehicles for official use, mostly as taxi cabs.
During the new test program, Department of Transportation officials will gather data on how the cars are used and how they perform. Early next year, data from the program will be posted online, allowing people to follow the cars and get an idea of how the plug-in systems are working in everyday real-world driving.
You can check out the current run of Toyota's Prius today at Toyota of North Charlotte - 13429 Statesville Road Huntersville, NC 28078.