Toyota has big, big plans for the Prius, their flagship hybrid sedan. While they play the yes-no-maybe game with the Prius a brand name in-and-of-itself, they are taking the hybrid to the next level by offering a plug-in version of the Prius for the 2011 model year. Called the Prius PHV, it will have a short all-electric range as well as the ability to travel highway speeds under electric-only power.
Toyota says the Prius PHEV will have an all-electric range of about 14.5 miles (depending on how heavy the driver’s right foot is), which will make possible short jaunts without using any fuel. After that a gas engine kicks in, and according to Toyota the Prius PHEV would have a theoretical range of 870 miles on a full charge and a full tank of gas. Cross country in just four fill ups? That would be pretty impressive.
Toyota will first be leasing several hundred of the Prius PHEVs out to fleets and governments across Japan, the U.S., and Europe. Toyota is aiming squarely at the Volt with the Prius PHEV, and while no price has been set, they hope to have it cost under 3 million yen (around $34,000). Considering the cost to convert a Prius to plug-in is about $11,000 (depending on where you go) and a 2010 Prius has a starting MSRP of $22,400, $33,000 sounds about right.
Get happy, Prius folk, ’cause your car keeps getting better and better.
Source: Green Car Advisor | Image: Toyota