Toyota Prius Prime unveiled

2017 Toyota Prius Prime

Now that the Prius Prime was unveiled at the 2016 New York International Auto Show, let’s do a summary.

  1. The battery has 8,8 kWh capacity
  2. Electric range is 22 miles EPA (35 km)
  3. Running in EV mode gets 120 MPGe
  4. It can remain in EV mode at speeds up to 84 mph (135 km/h)
  5. Charging requires just 2,3 hours using Mode 2 (Mennekes)
  6. Heat pump with gas injection
  7. Running in gas it matchs the Prius IV MPG
  8. Total range is 600 miles (965 km)
  9. Coefficient of drag is 0,25
  10. For better aerodynamics it will have 15 inch wheels
  11. Only four seats!?

I ignored the European NEDC ratings since the EPA used in USA is much more realistic.


Toyota Prius Prime is a very good looking car


What Toyota has to say about it?

Reducing the weight was a concern:

“While giving the new-generation Prius models more features, Toyota kept vehicle weight in check by using aluminum for the hood, carbon fiber on the rear hatch, and by using high-tensile strength steel in other parts of the structure.  In fact, the lightweight carbon fiber rear hatch makes opening and closing almost effortless.”

As well the aerodynamics:

“The wind-cheating body and its high-strength/low weight structure are critical factors in the Prius Prime’s astoundingly low energy consumption. Its coefficient of drag is expected to be among the lowest for production sedans. Automatic grille shutters help reduce drag by closing when airflow to the radiator is not needed.”

Regarding safety the Prime will be well equipped:

“Toyota Safety Sense™ P. This multi-feature advanced active safety suite, bundles the Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection and Automatic Braking; Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist; Full-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with full stop technology and Automatic High Beams.  Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert are also available for additional peace of mind.”

Toyota seems very proud of the Prime, this is what it says:

““Prime” means best, making it the perfect name for one of the most technologically advanced, best-equipped Prius in the model’s history.”

Let’s hope they market it accordingly.



In Europe the first deliveries should come in September, but it’s not until November that they will reach full speed.

“The Prius plug-in Hybrid will be available in Europe towards the end of the year.”

I left the worst for the end. The Prime will have only four seats, it might be a deal breaker for many potential buyers.


Only four seats is the weakest point


To help you forget the disappointment of only having four seats, here are two cool features.


Solar panels…


Toyota Prius Prime solar panel roof

Toyota Prius Prime solar panel roof


A cool thing is that an optional solar panel will be available (not in the USA) and it will charge the HV (high voltage) battery, it’s not just for the 12 V battery as most solar panels we in see cars like the Nissan Leaf. Probably it’s just a geeky thing that adds just 10 km of range in a sunny day, but I sure like the concept. At least the sun will not destroy the paint job on the roof.


Fast charging…


2017 Toyota Prius Prime charging door open

2017 Toyota Prius Prime charging door open


Since CHAdeMO requires another socket and CCS doesn’t, it wouldn’t make sense that Toyota forgets to add CCS in USA and Europe.


The fast charging capability and the solar panels may compensate the loss of the fifth seat. Specially to singles that crave technology and don’t have to transport three children in the back seat.


If you’re interested in this car, take a look at the forum, it’s a great source of information.



More info:

Pedro Lima

My interest in electric transportation is mostly political. I’m tired of coups and wars for oil. My expectation is that the adoption of electric transportation will be a factor for peace and democracy all over the world.

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Ralf K
5 years ago

>> Charging requires just 2,3 hours using Mode 2 (Mennekes)

The previous Prius III PHEV had a Type 1 plug there worldwide, even for European versions.

So this is something new. This time Toyota will differentiate by target market for Prius Prime what charging connector is available on the car:
– US likely will likely get Type1 J1772 for AC, but no DC charging
– Japan likely will get Type1 for AC and ChaDeMo for DC charging (see the priuschat page)
– EU will likely get Type2 (Mennekes), but no DC charging

5 years ago

I think Toyota is a company with a good sense of humour. Only with such a spirited mind could launch something this obnoxious.
4 seats, ugly as a duckling, short all electric range, in summary nothing to be proud of driving nor purchasing.