Toyota unveils new Prius hybrid cars amid doubts about its electric vehicle strategy

2023 Toyota Prius Prime Hybrid Electric Vehicle

Toyota

Toyota Motor It won’t be giving up its flagship Prius hybrid anytime soon, despite billions being invested in all-electric vehicles amid criticism that it hasn’t moved fast enough in the nascent segment.

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

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Toyota has not released US specifications for the 2023 Prius models, but the cars differ significantly in design from 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 as other automakers have pledged to go fully electric in the coming years is part of Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda’s electrification strategy. The Automotive Scion believes that electric vehicles are not the only solution for automakers to reach carbon neutrality – something the company hopes to achieve by 2050.

Simon Humphreys, Toyota’s chief design officer, hasn’t shyed away from recent criticism about the company’s ongoing plans to develop hybrid cars alongside battery electric vehicles, or BEVs, and other potential technologies.

“With the current focus on BEVs, it seems not a day goes by without hearing, ‘So how long are you going to keep making hybrids?'” “Okay, disclaimer: Today I’m going to talk about the new Toyota hybrid,” Humphreys said during the reveal, which was broadcast live in Japan.

Since the Prius was launched in 1997, Toyota says it has sold more than 20 million electric vehicles worldwide. The company says those sales have offset 160 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, which is equivalent to the impact of 5.5 million all-battery electric vehicles.

Interior design of Toyota Prius 2023

Toyota

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

Humphreys reiterated the company’s stance, saying, “The Prius is an affordable green car. In order to achieve carbon neutrality, everyone in the world must participate.”

“It is a car that is driven by all people, not just the few. This is its greatest strength and raison d’être,” he said.

In the United States, the 2022 Prius starts at around $25,000—much less than most electric cars—and achieves up to an EPA-approved 56 mpg. The 2022 Prius Prime plug-in hybrid starts at around $29,000 and has 133 mpg, which takes into account the car’s entire 25-mile range as well as the fuel economy of its gas-powered engine.

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