2012 Plug-in Prius Eligible for $4,000 of Incentives in California
$32,000 Minus $4,000Those of you who live in California and are interested in the 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in will be happy to learn that they won't have to pay the full sticker price thanks to state and federal incentives to kickstart the plug-in vehicle industry (the oil industry received so much subsidies - direct and indirect - over decades, this isn't even close to levelling the playing field). The federal gov't will provide a $2,500 tax credit, and the state of California will provide a HOV lane sticker and a $1,500 rebate (but it's first come first-served, so don't wait too long).
The tax credit isn't as high as with cars like the Volt or LEAF because the Prius PHEV's battery pack is smaller, but Toyota is making the bet that it will be enough to provide significant fuel economy benefits (it is after all rated at Prius Plug-in is rated at 95MPG-equivalent). Whether it is right for you or not compared to other plug-ins will depend on your driving habits. If most of your trips are long highway drives, the plug-in Prius probably won't do much better than the regular Prius (ie. still better than most other cars on the road, but not spectacular). But if you do a lot of short trips, especially in urban areas, and can plug the car often (each night at home, at work, etc), it should do very well and save lots of fuel. The thing to remember is that the MPGe rating for plug-ins is a lot more fuzzy than the regular EPA MPG number because plug-in performance is even more dependent on driving habits than with regular gas/diesel vehicles.
While in EV Mode, the Prius Plug-in is rated by the EPA to drive up to 11 miles. It’s also capable of traveling up to 62 mph using electric power alone. During EV Mode driving, the Prius Plug-in is rated at 95MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent). In hybrid mode, it has an EPA combined mileage rating of 50 mpg. This means that when the EV Mode is depleted, Prius Plug-in still obtains the same estimated high fuel economy rating as Prius Liftback. With its Lithium-ion power and extended electric vehicle mode, the Prius Plug-in is EPA-rated for a total driving range of 540 miles. (source)