Toyota rolls out the 2012 Prius Plug-in


Announced at the Green Drive Expo in Richmond, California earlier today, the 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid utilizes a new 4.4 kilowatt-hour Lithium ion battery pack and allows owners to charge the vehicle with a standard wall outlet. Using a custom made charging pack, owners can fully recharge the vehicle in under three hours with a standard 120-volt outlet and cut that time in half using a 240-volt outlet. Toyota estimates that the Prius Plug-in will get 87 miles per gallon overall and 49 mph while in hybrid mode. The Prius Plug-in can operate on just battery power up to 15 miles at speeds up to 62 miles per hour, ideal for short trips around town.

2010_Toyota_Prius_VThe charging system comes with a 24 foot cable and is stored within the trunk. It also includes a timer that can be set by the user to charge at off-peak hours for the best rate on electricity. The Prius Plug-in comes in two models, the base model starting at $32,000 ranging up to $39,525 for the advance model. Consumers purchasing either model also qualify for a $2,500 federal tax credit, making the purchase of a base Prius just under $30,000. The pricing model puts it in line with the $40,000 Chevy Volt and the $35,000 Nissan Leaf, but both of those cars qualify for a larger federal rebate of $7,500 due to larger batteries.

In addition to the Prius Plug-in, Toyota also announced the Prius V, a version of the Prius with nearly 60 percent more cargo space than the Prius liftback. However, the mileage per gallon isn’t quite as impressive since the Prius V weighs an additional 300 pounds. The Prius V will get an estimated 42 miles per gallon, city and highway combined. The Prius V starts at $26,400 and ranges up to $29,990 depending on the model. Both models of the Prius will be available in October 2011.


Tesla Model S and Model X charge faster and go farther with the same battery

An all-new drivetrain for the Tesla Model S and X enables the EVs to travel farther per charge than the previous design. Tesla Model S Long Range sedans have a 370-mile range and Model X Long Range SUVs can travel 325 miles per EPA cycle.

The best hybrid cars save on fuel without sacrificing fun

The best hybrid cars are fuel-efficient and all the rage, but which one should you buy? We’ve broken through the noise to let you know the best hybrid, and a few interesting alternatives from different categories.
Buying Guides

The best hatchbacks for 2019 are small in size and big on tech

The hatchback segment isn't huge, but there are still plenty of good options to choose from. Here, we've rounded up the best hatchbacks available in America, whether you're a fan of efficiency or looks.

Electric car buying guide: What you need to know before you buy

EVs are better than they've ever been, but buying your first battery-powered car can be an intimidating experience. Digital Trends has compiled a comprehensive guide that walks you through the process of buying an EV.

2019 Ford F-150 RTR gets a light dose of off-road, style upgrades

Vaughn Gittin Jr.'s RTR Vehicles is turning its attention to the 2019 Ford F-150 pickup truck. RTR gave Ford's bestseller new suspension components and tires, as well as more extroverted exterior styling.

Electric truck maker Rivian scores $500 million investment from Ford

Alongside Amazon, Rivian can now count Ford as one of its backers. The Blue Oval will invest $500 million in Rivian, and will use the company's "skateboard" chassis as the basis for a future electric vehicle.
Emerging Tech

Japanese taxis will use facial recognition to target you with ads as you ride

A Japanese startup is trying to reinvent in-taxi advertising by using facial recognition technology to identify the key characteristics of riders and then presenting them with appropriate ads.

The best diagnostic adapters monitor your car so you don't have to

Sometimes called dongles, the best car adapters will tell you what's wrong under the hood while help you keep tabs on your family and routine maintenance.

Nvidia agrees with Tesla’s take on self-driving cars, but corrects specifics

Nvidia vice president Rob Csongor agreed with broad statements by Elon Musk at Tesla's April 22 Autonomy Investor Day. Csongor then took exception to what he termed were inaccuracies about Nvidia's self-driving car chip.

Stop backing into your neighbor's car with the best backup cameras

The right backup camera will allow you to better avoid vehicles and other obstacles without taking your eyes off the road, rendering "sorry, I hit your car!" notes a thing of the past. Here are our current favorites.

Waze vs. Google Maps: Which map app should you be using?

Waze and Google Maps are two of the most popular apps for those looking for turn-by-turn navigation, yet there are some notable differences to point out. Here, we examine both to decide which offers the best feature set.

Tesla posts $702M Q1 loss as deliveries fall sharply; Musk promises turnaround

Tesla lost $702 million during the first quarter of 2019 as deliveries fell sharply, and demand for the Model X and the Model S flattened. The company predicts it will again lose money in the second quarter.

Ambitious but not rubbish: The best Top Gear episodes

Since its relaunch in 2002, Top Gear has become required viewing for any serious gearhead. The great moments from this show may seem too numerous to count, but we've managed to pick some of the highlights from the first 26 seasons.

Qiantu K50 electric sports car was designed in China, will be built in the U.S.

The Qiantu K50 is a Chinese electric sports car that will be marketed in the United States by California-based Mullen Technologies. The carbon-fiber bodied, 402-horsepower K50 is expected to go on sale in 2020.