2012 Toyota Prius C
  • 2012 Toyota Prius C
  • 2012 Toyota Prius C front 3/4 view

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  • 2012 Toyota Prius C
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  • 2012 Toyota Prius C eco score display

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  • 2012 Toyota Prius C fuel mileage ranking display

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When we last asked Toyota representatives about the production capacity of the 2012 Prius C, we were told the company's Iwate, Japan plant could make up to 30,000 units each month. That sounds like a lot, but Toyota is currently sending just 20 percent – 6,000 a month – to the United States.

Back in December, when the car went on sale in Japan, the company received 120,000 orders in the first five days it was on sale. As we noted last week, Toyota also sold 1,200 Prius C units in the first three days it was on sale in the States. The baby Prius may not be as popular here as it is at home, but 6,000 a month sure doesn't seem like it's enough.

The C is made at just one plant, one run by Toyota's Kanto Auto Works Ltd. affiliate in northern Japan. A strong yen and all those Japanese orders means that the C models that do get made are mostly delivered to the home country instead of exported. Toyota originally planned to produce just 20,000 Cs a month, and is now looking to go over even the 30,000 level. By increasing efficiencies at the plant and moving production of non-Prius C models (specifically, the not-available-in-the-U.S. Toyota Ractis) from Iwate to other plants, the unspecified increase should be in place by the middle of this year. Thus far, there is no official talk about making the C at other plants.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 23 Comments
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 3 Years Ago
      mapo, if there were recharge points where you could recharge 200km range in 15 minutes, would you still need a combustion engine?
      usbseawolf2000
      • 2 Years Ago
      @Rotation + Spec - Please stop spreading that misconception. Prius PHV blends in electricity at 65 mph to deplete the battery. A normal Prius cannot do that as it always sustain the battery charge.
      Spec
      • 3 Years Ago
      It is disappointing that Toyota makes such a half-hearted plug-in car. The battery is too small and the price is too high. All they would have to do is add a charger and a much larger battery to this car and they could sell it for only a slightly higher price (after tax-credit) since the tax-credit would cover most of the added cost. I almost get the feeling they are trying to give GM a free shot at the market. But the Volt is a bit too expensive and thus struggling. If the Volt cost $5K less such that it was $27K after tax-credit, that might be enough to make it break through.
        Rotation
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Spec
        I don't believe the Prius C is plug-in at all.
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          ?? Toyota do not design their cars exclusively according to the US market and it regulations. The electric range in fact seems likely to have been chosen as it works very well for Japanese commutes, and is not too bad in Europe although a little short.
          Rotation
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          I'm with you. The PHEV Prius is only as much of a plug-in as it takes to get a carpool sticker in California.
          Spec
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          The Prius C is not a plug-in. I just went off on a rant about their plug-in Prius car that doesn't get much attention because it is such a half-hearted attempt at a plug-in car.
      Rotation
      • 3 Years Ago
      I don't have a problem with reasonable ER-EVs like the Karma or Volt. The plug-in Prius though should not qualify for a carpool lane sticker. When it is in that carpool lane driving 65, it is running off gas by definition since it cannot make it to highway speeds on electricity only.
      usbseawolf2000
      • 3 Years Ago
      With the economy in recovery, Toyota was right to develop this $19k 53 MPG game changer. Miniaturizing HSD to lower the cost was the right challenge at the right time. GM had gone with the $40k halo plugin that turned out to be not selling. Kudos to the engineers. Boo to the product planners and the management. The lure of the tax credit comes with political backlash. Toyota was wise to focus on the PHV PRICE instead of the COST (included with incentives). The data collected from the PHV prototypes showed that there was no pattern in the usage. So they went and optimized the car for all driving conditions and both fuels, without compromising interior volume. Panasonic is ramping up the Lithium production. Ford Energi plugin will be using the same cells. As the economy recovers, the next generation plugin (NS4) should be correctly timed with better EV performance.
        Spec
        • 3 Years Ago
        @usbseawolf2000
        "The data collected from the PHV prototypes showed that there was no pattern in the usage. " Bull manure. People don't just wake up and drive random distances & patterns.
          Chris M
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Spec
          While most people drive a routine daily commute that doesn't vary much, different commuters have different routes and different routines - there is no single standard commute. Since the Toyota PHEV testing involved lots of different drivers, they found no commute pattern that fit all or even most drivers.
      Spec
      • 3 Years Ago
      @Rotation You bring up a very good point! The plug-in Prius should not qualify for the carpool lane since it is no different than the standard Prius (which is no longer allowed in the carpool lane) when driving at 65mph.
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 3 Years Ago
      not green. it's a fossil fuel burner of conventional weight and aerodynamics. we've had small non hybrid cars in europe for a decade with that mileage and they are of course not green either. it's curious how weak minds are that you can't understand that only fossil fuel free driving is green
        usbseawolf2000
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        Sorry to break it to you but in the US, majority of the electricity is from fossil fuel. Only a weak mind thinks running on electricity automatically makes it green. You'll have to look at well-to-wheel analysis that includes vehicle efficiency (EPA MPGe figure) as well as fuel production efficiency (upstream). EPA created this Beyond Tailpipe Emission calculator: http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/label/calculator.jsp Enter your zip code and it'll tell you CO2 emission per mile for Leaf or Volt. Just for reference, a regular 50 MPG Prius emit 222 gram/mile.
          Mark Schaffer
          • 2 Years Ago
          @usbseawolf2000
          And how does this compare with normal ICE vehicles?
          usbseawolf2000
          • 2 Years Ago
          @usbseawolf2000
          BTW, Leaf national average is 230 gram/mile.
          usbseawolf2000
          • 2 Years Ago
          @usbseawolf2000
          Cruze Eco auto (31 MPG) emit 358 gram/mile. Cruze Eco manual (33 MPG) emit 335 gram/mile. Jetta TDI auto (34 MPG) emit 379 gram/mile. Volt's national average is 260 gram/mile so it is still better than a normal ICE vehicle. Keep in mind that non-CO2 gas emissions were converted to CO2 equivalent. That's why Jetta TDI CO2 number is much higher despite being more efficient.
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @usbseawolf2000
          Fossil Fuels... yes. But not all fossils are created equal. Natural Gas is a fossil fuel... but is MUCH cleaner than petroleum. Both Coal and Natural Gas are domestic... so economically and politically MUCH safer than petroleum. And Coal as a percentage of the National average mix... is going down every year. But if you live in a state that already has cleaner than average energy mix... it DOES make you green.
        Tagbert
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        Yeah, people might as well be driving Escalades as this. It's a black and white world people. Your either with Dan or against him.
        Mark Schaffer
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        Dan, In reality, how green one can be lies along a statistical continuum and is not a black or white proposition as you simplistically assert.
      Rotation
      • 3 Years Ago
      I saw a plug-in Prius today. In fact, there are two ER-EVs (a Volt and a Karma) and the PHEV Prius down by the chargers this morning. 3 plug-ins, 3 tailpipes.
        mapoftazifosho
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Rotation
        Look, I love the idea of having a straight BEV, but there are instances; even if only a handful of them in a given year, that I need the gas generator... These are the first steps toward a brighter future...don't hate on the current technology so much. We didn't jump from the first mobile phones to the iPhone in one generation...so relax!
      usbseawolf2000
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is the video recorded with the production PHV. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3U56snYMKs
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