The MME school has been selected by Toyota Ireland to participate in a pre-launch evaluation programme of the forthcoming Prius PHV

news and events

Dr Willie Smith with the new Prius PHV hybrid electric vehicle.

The UCD School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering has been selected by Toyota Ireland to participate in a pre-launch evaluation programme of the forthcoming Prius PHV.   The Prius PHV (Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle) is powered by a combination of mains electricity and regular, unleaded petrol.  Equipped with a larger battery and more powerful electric motor than the current Prius hybrid, the PHV can travel 10-20 km on mains electricity alone at speeds of up to 110 km/h.  For longer trips, or when higher speeds are demanded, the petrol engine seamlessly assumes its role. It offers the best of both worlds: in low-speed, urban traffic, it functions as a mains-powered electric vehicle, but for longer trips it acts as a conventional hybrid.

Toyota has initiated the programme to gain user feedback prior to launch onto the market.  From a UCD perspective, the activity dovetails neatly with ongoing research in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering to analyse real-world vehicle usage patterns.  The research, funded by the Environmental Protection Agency, forms part of a larger investigation into the reduction of energy consumption and emissions from road transport.

UCD is the only Irish university selected to participate in the PHV evaluation programme, which incorporates a further eight companies including Google and ESB.  All organisations were selected because of their commitment to energy conservation and a greener environment.