Are lower cost and longer all-electric range in a plug-in hybrid mutually exclusive concepts? That's what Toyota appears to be arguing to the California Air Resources Board (CARB). In documents recently filed with CARB concerning the Golden State regulator's 10-mile minimum requirement for all-electric range in plug-in hybrids. The EPA says the Prius Plug-in Hybrid has an all-electric range of 11 miles, but CARB's calculations put it at six. Green Car Reports says the Prius will likely get a boost to 10 miles to comply with CARB requirements adopted last year.

Toyota may be extending that range begrudgingly, arguing in the documents that it's more important to use technological advancements to bring battery costs and vehicle pricing down for prospective buyers, as opposed to maintaining price and extending all-electric range.

The California mandates are especially relevant because the state is home to what's easily the country's highest sales of plug-in vehicles. Through October, Prius Plug-in Hybrid sales through the entire US were up 4.6 percent from a year earlier to 10,069 units. October sales grew even faster, at an 11-percent clip, to 2,095 units. Last month, Toyota said it would cut the base price of the 2014 model-year Prius Plug In by $2,010 to $29,990.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 68 Comments
      Spec
      • 1 Day Ago
      Mass is not always most important. depends on the driving.
      Jim1961
      • 1 Day Ago
      Toyota does not have to try very hard to compete witb the Chevy Volt because liberal enviromentalists have an anti-American bias. Don't assume I'm a conservative because I critcize liberals. I'm politically moderate and what I'm saying is undeniably true.
        Jim1961
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Jim1961
        The Chevy Volt has a much smaller carbon footprint than the Prius and the total cost of ownership of the Volt is thousands less than the Prius yet the Prius outsells the Volt 4 to 1. Last month the sales of the Volt and the Prius plug in hybrid sold about the same number but the Volt AER is four time the AER of the PIP. Can anyone explain this without assuming the buyers are biased?
        EZEE
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Jim1961
        Dear God Jim I am a radical right wing extremist, but I regularly scan this website - liberals attach their angry screaming emotion to ANYTHING critical of the Volt. If you do not say the volt drives on water and shoots lillacs out of its tail pipe, you are inherently evil and you starve children, and you are racist. Cars you cannot criticize include the Volt, Tesla and Leaf. And - if you DO criticize the Volt, you are yelled at as being Anti-American - by liberals! Your post is 100% false. And this is a radical right wing extremist saying so.
        EZEE
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Jim1961
        Okay...still shocked. Read posts for a few days before saying anything like this. Criticizing the Volt is fighting words to a liberal.
        Technoir
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Jim1961
        Jim You are a brain damaged *******. You think sending $100 billion a year to Saudi Arabia is "patriotic" ? Do you think reducing dependency on foreign oil is "anti-American" ? Please spare me your twisted views, you sick Palin worshipper.
        Naturenut99
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Jim1961
        Unbelievably FALSE ! There are many conservatives that own Prius's. I used to own a Prius, because that was the most efficient available at that time (2003/04). I have owned a Volt for more than a year because it is the most efficient that I can afford yet fits my needs. The US makes the best EV (Model S) and best EREV/PHEV (Volt). Most enviro's who have been able to have switched to either the Volt, Model S or Leaf. The majority that continue to buy standard hybrids are 1st timers like my parents. I tried to get them into something better, but they aren't ready for that yet. There are people just getting used to the idea of a hybrid (even after more than ten years) to go and try one. There is not one American enviro that is anti-American. It's just that Toyota and other foreign makes were the only ones making efficient vehicles for a long time. Now that Detroit is finally selling efficient vehicles, they are doing better. Don't make knee jerk reactions without actually knowing the subject and history.
          guigahe
          • 1 Day Ago
          @Naturenut99
          You guy live in a movie, perfect for misleading marketing from Ford and Chevy, wake up man!
          guigahe
          • 1 Day Ago
          @Naturenut99
          Not to you, it was for Jim, sorry
      Naturenut99
      • 1 Day Ago
      Despite the EV range being very low. The good news is that they will be uping it by 40%. EPA lists it as 11 AER CARB lists it as 6 AER They have to get it to a CARB rating of 10. Which should give an EPA rating of 15. While still low (My converted 2004 Prius did 15-20 with NiMH batteries) this at least takes an infant step forward. I am so grateful for my Volt.
        usbseawolf2000
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Naturenut99
        It is important to distinguish the difference between a converted plugin and PiP. A conversion has 10 kW traction power limit because that's how a regular Prius works and a hack cannot override it PiP EV power is 38 kW. You can easily drive it around town in EV.
      usbseawolf2000
      • 1 Day Ago
      Try the back seats of both. I am anti-American? I am anti EREV (Volt or Karma). I think plugin hybrids like PiP and Ford Energi are provide more bang for the buck. Keep digging into upstream emission. Don't forget to include the emission to manufacture the battery pack. It turns out to be a BIG one. We now understand why Toyota was saying smaller battery pack (capable of many cycles) is better. Small battery pack is not good to qualify for big buck tax credit but they decided to do what they SHOULD rather than what they COULD.
      thecommentator2013
      • 1 Day Ago
      The Volt is becoming more and more an attractive offer. I do wish it had more AER but, basically, it's so well laid that I basically drive in E-Mode in absolute most of the times. Used 0.2 gallons last week, drove quite some miles though, didnt' top up. Beat that!
        thecommentator2013
        • 1 Day Ago
        @thecommentator2013
        ....and I am at 225mpgs.... Now, if that's not good, what is then?
        John Fagnant
        • 1 Day Ago
        @thecommentator2013
        The current MSRP from GM isn't profitable yet though. So, don't expect it to be an option for the masses... unlike with Toyota's approach. Volt is also considerably smaller in back too. Legroom and head positioning simply cannot compete with the larger interior Prius PHV offers. The ability to carry large cargo doesn't compare either. As for the "AER" rating. People continue to overlook the actual kWh capacity. That's what matters, not whether or not EPA testing criteria is perfectly matched. In fact, people use to complain about automakers rigging their configuration to deliver maximum EPA rating results. Kudos should be given to Toyota for not doing that. The point is to use the electricity available most efficiently. Delivering a pure-electric experience under all driving conditions doesn't actually do that. Looking at real-world data, we see the overall benefit of blending... which sadly, the proposed ZEV credit qualifications don't take into account. Setting a minimum sounds realistic. But is it really worth it if the electricity isn't used effectively? Shouldn't we focus on best use instead, especially configurations with high-volume sales potential?
          John Fagnant
          • 1 Day Ago
          @John Fagnant
          It's not really competition when one gets triple the tax-credit and is sold at a loss. To be a solution for the mainstream, consideration of things like affordability & profitability must be taken. That's a very big deal... which is why Toyota went with the 4.4 kWh for this model.
          thecommentator2013
          • 1 Day Ago
          @John Fagnant
          @JF I didn't say the Toyota is a bad car. In contrary, it serves its purpose. For my purpose the Volt is the far better choice and no, it's not more much more expensive as a PiP here. In fact they compete at a very similar price level.
      Jim1961
      • 1 Day Ago
      Anyone? (crickefs)
      usbseawolf2000
      • 1 Day Ago
      My first year data with PiP -- 132 MPGe on electric miles and 56 MPG on gas. I beat both Leaf and regular Prius EPA rating. I got the best of both worlds, without having to give up cargo space or a rear seat -- just the spare tire. My PiP is mainly an EV in my city driving and mainly a gas hybrid on the highway. Extremely happy with it.
      Technoir
      • 1 Day Ago
      6-11 miles ...thats just too low.
      JB
      • 1 Day Ago
      IT makes a lot of since for car makers to offer different range options. Get what you need. More than what you need is just dead weight.
        Ziv
        • 1 Day Ago
        @JB
        JB, that is true. The question in my mind is, what is the ideal range for a car maker to offer. I lease a Volt and love it, but I would happily pay for another 5 or 6 miles of range. I think, judging from years of comments from other Volt owners, that there are a lot us that would like a 40-50 mile AER. A few would prefer 60-80 miles but the majority of people want around 45. Toyota's approach to range seems a bit short sighted, but they are selling a ton of them so who am I to say. I just wish all the car makers were offering a variety of cars with plugs. 11 miles of EPA range is about the minimum needed to make it worthwhile to keep plugging in every night, but to have an economy Volt with 30 miles of AER, a standard Volt with 40 miles and a Long Range Volt with 50 miles would pretty much nail down a huge portion of buyers.
      Craig Ewing
      • 1 Day Ago
      The 2014 Chevy Spark EV is a far more compelling ride. A range of 82 miles, cheaper to buy / lease and gobs of torque to make it the Spark SS of the line-up. It's a fun car that uses no gas. Sorry, Toyota, your car comes up way short.
      CoolWaters
      • 1 Day Ago
      Batteries have not improved in 5 years?
      paulwesterberg
      • 1 Day Ago
      Mass is the most important variable for energy efficiency... in city driving. Aerodynamics is the most important variable for highway driving.
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