Toyota Aims for 17,000 Prius Plug-in Sales in U.S. Next Year


Photo: Tom Raftery, Flickr, CC
Competition for the Chevy Volt
While Toyota is getting ready to go 100% electric with the Scion iQ EV and the Toyota RAV4 EV with a Tesla powertrain, it is also betting a lot on the intermediary step that is the plug-in hybrid technology (these are vehicles that move on electricity until the battery runs out of juice, and after that they are powered by a gasoline engine - they bring the most benefits if you don't drive too far and the gas engine almost never kicks in). The Toyota Prius PHEV is expected to come out in 2012 and Toyota said it expects to sells at least 16,000-17,000 just in the US.

Photo: Tom Raftery, Flickr, CC

About pricing:

Toyota expects the plug-in Prius to sell for $3,000 to $5,000 more than a standard version, which starts at $23,520, said Jana Hartline, a company spokeswoman.

The car should qualify for a federal tax credit of at least $2,500, Hartline said. While Toyota hasn't begun a promotional campaign for the plug-in, 29,000 potential customers have "pre- registered" to buy one on the company's website, she said.

In California, the plug-in Prius should also qualify for a $1,500 rebate and be allowed to use carpool lanes even with a solo driver, said Mike Ferry, program manager for the state's Center for Sustainable Energy, which distributes the payments.

This is particularly interesting since gasoline is only getting more expensive over time (the 2008-2009 recession was just a temporary break because demand dropped rapidly), but the 13-mile range of the Prius PHEV compares badly with the longer range of the Chevy Volt, so it remains to be seen if buyers will feel its better to get the Volt for even more gas savings (or even a 100% electric car like the Nissan LEAF).

Via Bloomberg, ABG
More on Electric Cars
Mitsubishi i Electric Car Rated 112 MPGe by EPA
Toyota to Bring Electric Version of Scion iQ to U.S. in 2012
Tesla to Stop Production of Electric Roadster, Shift Focus to Model S
Dutch Team Drives Electric Nissan LEAF 779.19 Miles... in 24 Hours (Video)

Related Content on