On Monday, the Japanese Nikkei (sub. req.) newspaper reported that Toyota will make plug-in capability a standard feature on all Prius hybrid models beginning in 2014. As it turns out, that report most likely contained some factual errors. Toyota spokesman John Hanson told AOL Autos, "We see this market as being a small percentage of our hybrid market. We don't see it as a car for everybody." Plugin Cars reached out to Jana Hartline, environmental communications manager at Toyota, for confirmation of the story. However, Hartline essentially put a lid on the buzz generated by the Nikkei's report, stating:
Plugin Cars dug deeper, asking Hartline, "There's no formal plan, but is it a possibility?" Hartline replied, "No." As for the cost rumor we heard, that the plug-in Prius would cost the same as the standard version, Toyota's Midwest public relations manager, Curt McAllister, told AutoblogGreen that, "Pricing hasn't been announced yet."The report is not accurate. We spoke to our offices in Japan, and the story is not true. There is no formal plan to make all Priuses plug-in by 2014.