• Aug 11, 2011
Toyota Prius Plug-in – Click above for high-res image gallery

Bit by bit, the Toyota Prius Plug-in puzzle is starting to take shape. Thus far, we accumulated loads of info, most of it unofficial, on the eagerly awaited plug-in hybrid. For example, an AutoblogGreen tipster recently led us to details showing the pluggy sedan's tentative launch date of March 2012. Way before that, we stumbled across a report claiming the plug-in Prius will hit U.S. dealers with an MSRP of approximately $28,000. Then there was the Bloomberg report saying that Toyota spokesman John Hanson announced the Japanese automaker aims to sell at least 16,000 Prius Plug-ins in the U.S. in 2012.

Now, there's even more info trickling in courtesy of the folks over at Ward's Auto. As we've previously reported, Toyota will initially offer the plug-in Prius in 15 states. According to Ward's Auto, of those 15 states, only two – Virgina and California – permit plug-in hybrids with a single occupant to use HOV lanes. This, according to Bob Carter, group vice-president of Toyota Motor Sales U.S., will alter the demand for the plug-in Prius. Carter says the overall success of the Prius PHEV will depend on the number of states that allow plug-in hybrids to access HOV lanes.

On top of that, Carter revealed that the Prius Plug-in won't be available nationwide until roughly one year after the vehicle launches in select markets in March of 2012, with the exact timing of the nationwide launch not yet set in stone. Piece by piece, the puzzle is coming together.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 12 Comments
      Naturenut99
      • 1 Day Ago
      re: " the overall success of the Prius PHEV will depend on the number of states that allow plug-in hybrids to access HOV lanes" That makes no sense. People do not buy or not buy a car based on HOV access. People consider it a definite plus, but someone that does not like the Prius for whatever reason is not going to buy it just because it can use the HOV lane. People buy the Prius to reduce gas use. People will buy the PHEV Prius because it will reduce gas use even more, not because of HOV Access.
        Ryan
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Naturenut99
        There isn't a HOV lane withing 300 miles of me.
        Doug
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Naturenut99
        Umm... I know several people in California who got hybrids specifically for HOV access under the yellow sticker program. The shorter commute time alone was worth the price premium to them. Good gas mileage was just a secondary bonus.
        krona2k
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Naturenut99
        Agreed, that's total nonsense, the success will be based on the price and the running costs.
      Levine Levine
      • 1 Day Ago
      Fools. By that time the Tesla S will be available. Who needs a plug-in Prius when you can get a cool-looking high torque all electric sedan. Besides, by then the Leaf will have extended range battery. Toyota sucks again.
      Peter
      • 1 Day Ago
      A very cynical view that I think demonstrates either something out of context or a potential misunderstanding of their own market. Since the Prius HOV exception in California closed I think they are still selling 'em there. You might go as far on a limb and say that the Prius's sell perhaps not for their dynamic performance, nor their styling, but for the fact that they are extremely efficient. Hence a plug in Prius, even though one might argue as to C02 emissions if you are coal powering it, can only be considered the same as the regular Prius but better.
      Rotation
      • 1 Day Ago
      I agree people want to drive solo in HOV lanes. They do this because they have relatively long commutes along the highway during rush hour. But selling a PHEV that cannot provide full operation on electricity, specifically isn't good at highway speeds to people with long commutes is intellectually dishonest. The car isn't particularly good at highway mileage or long commutes, so you are just packing in all that stuff to sell them a car that pollutes same as a regular Prius, it just lets them do so in the carpool lane. If true, this is shameful for Toyota.
      paulwesterberg
      • 1 Day Ago
      We have been looking to replace our 2nd car, the oilburner, it mostly sits unused on days when I carpool or bike to work. But there are days when we need 2 cars and I would prefer that the commuter be electric. But because Toyota has been slow to get into the EV game and is not really looking to sell any vehicles in my area until 2013 my next car will probably not be a Toyota even though I really like our 2nd gen prius.
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 1 Day Ago
      of course they want to stall as much as possible..
        Robdaemon
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        Wait, is this car GREEN ENOUGH for you?
          Dan Frederiksen
          • 1 Day Ago
          @Robdaemon
          not even close. just barely qualifies as green but only in a relative sense since the state of cars is so truly pathetic. in the final solution there wont be anything as horrible as this plugin prius
      krona2k
      • 1 Day Ago
      Waiting, waiting, waiting...