2nd-Generation Toyota Prius Plug-In To Have 30–35 Miles Of Electric Range

Originally published on EV Obsession.

The Toyota Prius Plug-In certainly isn’t the most hotly anticipated electric car out there. (That is obviously either the Tesla Model X or Tesla Model 3.) In fact, it’s got to be one of the least anticipated. The fact is, the original Toyota Prius Plug-In has one of the worst electric-only ranges on the market (11 miles / 18 kilometers). Wait a second, that’s the worst electric-only range on the market! It’s slightly worse than the Honda Accord Plug-In and even worse than the BMW i8 sports car. And to make matters worse, it couldn’t even go more than 6 miles on the EPA test cycle without jumping to power from the gasoline engine. It’s practically a conventional hybrid, which certainly doesn’t excite plug-in car fans.


Meanwhile, Toyota has been spreading more anti-EV FUD than the oil industry. Seriously. And it has been promoting its lame Mirai fuel cell vehicle as if it somehow competes with a battery-electric car. (LOL.)

So, yeah, not many of us were on the edge of our seats to find out more details about the next-generation Toyota Prius Plug-In.

But some news is out, and it’s half-decent. For one, the electric-only range is reportedly going to be 30–35 miles, which is likely to beat — or at least tie — most other plug-in hybrids on the market (and there are a lot hitting the market these days).

While production of the 2015 Toyota Prius Plug-In ended last month, production of the next-gen Toyota Prius Plug-In isn’t expected until the second half of 2016.

As much as I’d be willing to bash Toyota and the Prius Plug-In for hours, though, there are some points that could probably be taken as a positive. The Prius Plug-In was one of the top-selling electric vehicles in the US and worldwide for awhile (look at the first 3 charts there). While most automakers were content to only sell their compliance cars in California and perhaps a few other markets, Toyota made the Prius Plug-in much more widely available — in fact, it was consistently near the top of the podium in Europe… for awhile. My guess is that dealers were often willing to up-sell customers on the Prius Plug-In who were coming in for the supremely popular conventional hybrid Prius. And with the Plug-In really behaving more like a conventional hybrid than other plug-in cars, the difference really wasn’t huge.


As I said, those points could be seen as positive. However, with the Prius Plug-In being one of the worst ambassadors (if not the worst) of plug-in cars, I’m not so sure of the net effect. But if Toyota is willing to produce and sell a 2016 Prius Plug-In with much more electric range, that could be quite exciting — at least, when doing my EV sales reports.


But when it comes down to it, the first-generation Volt had 38 miles of electric-only range, and it could drive on that up until the battery ran dry. The next-generation 2016 Chevy Volt will have 50 miles of electric-only range, and will actually cost a little less than the original. Why not get a good deal on a used Volt or buy the 2016 model instead of wasting your time on a late-to-the-party Toyota?

Or just go 100% electric!

Zachary Shahan

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.