Toyota City, Japan, January 11, 2012—Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) today donated 17 external power-supply units to be fitted onto “Prius” gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles used as Miyagi Prefecture government vehicles.
TMC Executive Vice President Atsushi Niimi presented the units to Miyagi Prefectural Governor Yoshihiro Murai at a special ceremony held today to mark Miyagi Prefecture’s first year of reconstruction and the special role automobiles will play in that reconstruction.
At the ceremony, Niimi said that he hopes the power-supply units will be in some way helpful in times of emergency at evacuation shelters and public facilities. Murai expressed his hope that the units would help during emergencies to ensure the usability of information and communications networks and especially to enable the preparation of hot food for disaster victims.
The external power-supply units draw electric power from the Prius’ onboard drive battery and have a maximum output of 1,500 watts, enabling them to simultaneously power most household electrical appliances such as televisions, computers, rice cookers and hair dryers, and also to recharge mobile phones. Furthermore, when the vehicle’s battery power is depleted, the vehicle’s engine automatically turns on to recharge the battery. When starting with a full tank of gasoline, an estimated two
days of power supply is possible even when continuously supplying power at maximum output.
The donated 17 units represents part of TMC’s plan, announced in July 2011, to provide external power-supply units free of charge for a total of 40 vehicles in public use in the Tohoku region. Based on the experiences of those in disaster-stricken areas following the Great East Japan Earthquake, TMC decided to donate the power-supply units to Miyagi Prefecture to provide electricity during times of emergency.
TMC intends to offer an external power-supply feature as a factory-installed option for the Prius in 2012 and gradually expand availability to the “Prius PHV” and other hybrid vehicles.