Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid not available nationwide until 2013

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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