There’s been a trend of automakers slashing the price of their plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles as consumer interest in saving gas money grows. Toyota has finally got on the price-cutting train, cutting up to $4,600 from the price of the top-trim Prius Plug-In. But is that enough to help what have thus far been tepid sales?
It’s not that the Toyota Prius Plug-In hasn’t been selling; Toyota sold about 12,500 Prius Plug-Ins last year, only just missing their goal of 15,000 units. But through September of 2013, fewer than 8,000 Prius Plug-Ins have left dealer lots, making it unlikely that Toyota will exceed 2012 sales levels unless the hybrid gets a big boost.
That boost comes in the form of a $2,010 price cut off the cheapest Prius Plug-In model, dropping the MSRP to $29,990, as well as being eligible for a $2,500 Federal tax credit, dropping the effective price to $27,490. The top-trim Prius Plug-In Advanced, meanwhile, gets a $4,600 price cut, bringing the MSRP down to $34,905; with the $2,500 tax credit the price drops to $32,405.
The Toyota Prius Plug-In offers an all-electric driving range of just 11 miles, however, which is only one-third of the driving range of the segment-leading Chevy Volt. Ford’s one-two combo of the Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi is also outpacing sales of the Toyota, which many thought would take a commanding lead in the growing market for plug-in hybrids. With the competition having already slashed prices on EVs and plug-in hybrids though, are Toyota’s efforts too little, too late?
Is this price cut enough to get Toyota back in the running, or is this the first chink in the armor of the once-indomitable Prius brand of hybrids?
Source: Toyota | Image: Tom Raftery