Plug-in Hybrid Toyota Prius Not Expected Until 2012

A growing contingent of electric and hybrid vehicle supporters are vouching for the style and simplicity of Toyota’s Prius, one of the most popular and well-loved models on the market. Fans of the Prius have been anxiously awaiting the release of a plug-in model for the vehicle, which is expected to be available to the public in 2012. This January, at the North American International Auto Show, Toyota announced that it would release five hundred of the new plug-in Prius vehicles later this year, causing quite a stir both in terms of stock price and coverage by the press. But the news doesn’t mean fans can grab a model of their own earlier than expected; as U.S. News noted last month, only one hundred fifty of the vehicles will make it to the US, and these will be distributed among government and research facilities, ostensibly for use in initial testing and feedback from drivers.

     Though the wait continues to be arduous for excited fans, the chatter around the plug-in Prius is boisterous and full of debate about the merits of the car. Competing models from other car makers such as the Honda Insight and Chevrolet’s Volt are stirring up a bit of discussion drama as well, but overwhelmingly, news reports and consumer attention is sticking firmly with Toyota’s offering. Reports about the car’s expected fuel efficiency are looking positive, with electric-only power pointing to a possible thirty kilometers per charge, making errands and short commutes possible without the need for taking advantage of the car’s gasoline backup. Combined with an impressive efficiency for traditional power, a total of sixty five miles are drivable between a gallon of gas and the assistance of the Prius’ new lithium-ion battery.

     Despite anticipated visual changes and the addition of a few perks here and there in terms of interface and interior comfort, the battery itself is one of the key components that will make the plug-in Prius an attractive option for many buyers. Current Prius models make use of nickel-metal hydride batteries, which prevent the easy plug-in options consumers seek and are also prone to a shorter life span than their more accomplished lithium-ion cousins. The excitement surrounding this technology is good news for Toyota, which has been riding out a roller-coaster in the midst of a crashing international auto industry yet remains one of the most reliable brands in the industry. With a steady interest in Asia and a growing consumer base in the west, electric cars and hybrids are fast becoming hot spots for green investing. As a North Carolina McDonald’s restaurant plans to unveil power-parking for electric and hybrid vehicles this week, it’s clear the 2011 plug-in Prius will receive a warm welcome.


One thought on “Plug-in Hybrid Toyota Prius Not Expected Until 2012”

  1. At $40K for a Volt and $47K for a Prius, Plug-In Vehicles are dead. Stick a fork in them, they are done. Dems are out in 2010 and Obama is gone in 2012. You want to ruin our American Dream for this!

    What a shame; you could have had 90% Reduction in Carbon Emissions with FFV’s and Ethanol and you chose battery operated Plug-In Clown cars that cost $40K+. Are you nuts?

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