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Toyota unveils recent Prius hybrids amid skepticism of its EV strategy

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2023 Toyota Prius Prime plug-in hybrid electric vehicle

Toyota

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

The automaker late Tuesday revealed recent versions of the Prius hybrid and Prius Prime, a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. Each are considered “electrified” vehicles slightly than all-electric. They proceed to utilize gas-powered engines together with electric components that make the vehicles more fuel-efficient.

Toyota didn’t release U.S. specifications for the 2023 Prius models, however the vehicles are noticeably different in styling than the present versions. The outside is sportier, less quirky and appears to be more aerodynamic. But the general silhouette remains to be recognizable as a Prius.

Moving forward with the Prius as other automakers vow to go all-electric within the years ahead is an element of Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda’s electrification strategy. The auto scion believes EVs are usually not the one solution for automakers to succeed in carbon neutrality – which the corporate hopes to do by 2050.

Simon Humphries, Toyota senior manager of design, didn’t shrink back from recent criticism concerning the company’s ongoing plans to develop hybrids alongside battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, and other potential technologies.

2023 Toyota Prius hybrid

Toyota

“With the present deal with BEVs, it seems not a day goes by without hearing, ‘So how long are you going to proceed making hybrids for?’ Well disclaimer: Today I will speak about Toyota’s recent hybrid automotive,” Humphries said through the livestreamed reveal in Japan.

For the reason that Prius launched in 1997, Toyota says it has sold greater than 20 million electrified vehicles worldwide. The corporate says those sales have avoided 160 million tons of CO2 emissions, which is corresponding to the impact of 5.5 million all-electric battery vehicles.

Toyoda and other company executives have said all-electric vehicles aren’t viable for a lot of drivers – especially within the foreseeable future – as not all areas of the world will adopt EVs at the identical pace resulting from the high cost of the vehicles in addition to an absence of infrastructure.

Interior of the 2023 Toyota Prius

Toyota

Humphries reiterated the corporate’s position, saying the “Prius is an eco-car inside everyone’s reach. To be able to achieve carbon neutrality, everyone on the planet must participate.”

“It is a automotive to be driven by all people, not only the few. That is its best strength, and its the rationale for its existence,” he said.

Within the U.S., the 2022 Prius starts at about $25,000 – far lower than most all-electric vehicles – and achieves as much as an EPA-certified 56 mpg. The 2022 Prius Prime plug-in hybrid starts at about $29,000 and has a 133 MPGe, which takes into consideration the 25-mile all-electric range of the vehicle in addition to the fuel economy of its gas-powered engine.

Read more about electric vehicles from CNBC Pro

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