2010 Plug-in Prius Prototypes – Click above for high-res image gallery

Toyota is certainly hoping that demand to rent a rare plug-in Prius in Japan is exceptionally high. The company just kicked off its plug-in Prius rental program in Nagasaki prefecture and has set pricing at levels that seem absurd to us, but hopefully many are willing to pay the high rates to get the unique opportunity to pilot a PHEV. Once the novelty of renting a plug-in wears off, Toyota may be hard-pressed to find renters that are eager to dish out the dough.

Rental rates for the plug-in Prius start at $96 (U.S. at the current exchange rate) for just six hours. 12 hours will set you back $108 and a full day runs $131. If you want the plug-in Prius for more than a day, then the bargain rate of just $108 per additional day kicks in after the first 24 hours is paid in full for $131. A little math tells us the PHEV would run a staggering $3,300 per month.

We'd bet that even with the high rates, the plug-in Prius will be one hot ticket. Reservations will likely be required because Toyota has decided to offer just two plug-in Priuses for rental use in Japan. Despite the high costs, the rental program is almost sure to be a success due to the vehicle's rarity and Japan's affinity for the Prius.

Photos by Sebastian Blanco / Copyright ©2010 Weblogs, Inc.
[Source: Toyota via Green Car Congress]

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