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Plugging in and charging up your car is no longer a thing of the future, in fact, in the journey to establishing a sustainable motoring solution, Toyota is switching to a Prius Hybrid Electric Vehicle option in its signature range.

General Manager of Used Vehicles and Marketing Andrew Davis says, “There is a lot of interest in the wider community around electric powertrains, both in the media and in corporate New Zealand, so while Toyota New Zealand does not currently offer a model in its new vehicle range we have opted to import the 1.8 petrol Prius Hybrid Electric Vehicle as a used vehicle, under our Signature Class brand.” The vehicles are aged between two and four years and have travelled fewer than 25,000 kilometres. The Prius Hybrid Electric Vehicle combines a 1.8-litre petrol engine with a 60-kilowatt electric motor.

The all-electric range varies between 16 and 24 kilometres but can reach up to 26km on full charge, depending on the acceleration and braking, road and vehicle conditions and climate control use. These vehicles can be operated as electric vehicles for a short distance, but you can rest assured that if the charge runs out you won’t be without momentum, as the Prius Hybrid Electric Vehicle reverts to petrol or battery power. And in full electric mode it can travel at 100km per hour.

All vehicles will be delivered with a charging cable to enable you to charge it at home. And it doesn’t take long to fully recharge: its lithium-ion battery pack can be charged in 90 minutes at 240 volts. Toyota New Zealand is in the process of installing charge stations at six key locations. They are Auckland City Toyota, Manukau City Toyota, Hawke’s Bay Toyota (Napier), Manawatu Toyota, Rutherford and Bond Toyota (Wellington) and Miles Toyota (Christchurch). In terms of its economy, numbers indicate that the rating is around 2.5L/100km in all-electric mode and 4.7L/100km in hybrid mode, but these can vary according to a number of factors.

Each of the Prius Hybrid Electric Vehicles is sold as a Signature Class, and comes with the added benefits plus a five-year warranty including battery and powertrain – limited to 40,000km per year. The vehicles will have first undergone full refurbishment through Toyota’s dedicated facility at Thames, including odometer certification and compliance checks by AA.

As these vehicles were originally for domestic use in Japan, any wording on the display screen has been converted to English. And for added convenience, an English language owner’s manual will be provided as well. “Even though the Prius Hybrid Electric Vehicles have not yet been marketed, we have already had interest shown by both corporate and private customers, with at least one already sold,” says Andrew.