The Prius Plug-In Hybrid: A California Car Non-Residents Can Like, Too

By · September 03, 2012

The Plug-In Prius

The Prius Plug-In Hybrid is $32,000, but federal and state subsidies are available. And HOV access is a powerful incentive for Californians! (Toyota photo)

Well, the numbers are in. Since it went on sale in March through August 27, Toyota sold 5,818 Toyota Plug-In Hybrids in the U.S. (including some cars in Hawaii). Does that sound like a good number? Maybe not if you look at total Prius sales: The whole family moved 16,643 units in July alone.

The Bi-Coastal Car

But the Prius Plug-In Hybrid starts to look better if you factor in that it’s only sold so far in 15 states, all of them with coastlines (except Arizona). It’s a bi-coastal car, and the great American middle is going to have to wait for it.

Where’s it selling best? “The vast majority are sold in California,” said Maurice Durand, a product specialist at Toyota. And Durand points to Los Angeles and San Francisco as the largest markets, with maybe EV-friendly San Diego in third place.

California is predisposed to like this car, because the state's had a longstanding love affair with the Prius. If you have one in the Bay Area, better put a tennis ball on the radio antenna so you can find it in a parking lot.

An HOV Champ

Unfortunately, your regular hybrid Prius has been disenfranchised from the carpool lanes in California, but the plug-in version is one of only two cars (the other is the Volt) certified for a green sticker. So far, 4,092 state drivers have gotten green plug-in hybrid stickers.

“I think it’s a huge incentive to have access to the HOV lanes,” said Toyota spokeswoman Jana Hartline. “That’s very attractive for folks.”

The Plug-In Prius

Car sales are concentrated in California, but right now it's available only in 15 states. (Toyota photo)

But even if you live somewhere else, the Prius Plug-In Hybrid is an attractive proposition. I spent a week with one recently, and found that it fit my lifestyle. I don’t really drive all that far, and I was able to get a more-than-adequate 13 miles of electric travel on a charge (from 110, since I don’t have a 240-volt charger).

Durand says he’s seen 16 miles, which isn’t bad considering the Prius’ lithium-ion battery pack is only 4.4 kilowatt-hours. “It’s a car for people who want that electric capability, and a higher level of technology,” he said.

Slippery Profile

Like the standard Prius, the plug-in hybrid has a very slippery 0.25 coefficient of drag. Through an aggressive program of weight reduction, including extensive use of lightweight materials (high-strength steel, plastics), the car tops the scales at 3,165 pounds (about the same as a Prius V). That’s more than 800 pounds less than what is going to be its chief competitor in the short term, the Ford C-Max Energi.

The Prius Plug-In is rated by the EPA at 87 MPGe, though as they say your results will vary. The car’s hybrid system delivers 134 net horsepower, with a 98 horsepower (105 foot pounds of torque) motor and a 60-kilowatt (80-horsepower) electric motor. On the road, it drives much like a standard Prius, even when it’s running on batteries alone—I noted no dramatic drop-off in power.

The car is pretty easy to live with. Charge times are only three hours on 120 volts, and 1.5 hours on 240. The li-ion battery pack is small enough that it doesn’t compromise passenger or luggage space. The price could be an obstacle, though. This is a $32,000 car, though it’s eligible for a $2,500 federal tax credit. And there’s more: California owners not only get the HOV sticker but a $1,500 rebate through the Clean Vehicle Rebate Program. Better act fast, because they’re first-come, first-served and the money runs out.

"It Works for Me"

Gina Coplon-Newfield, the Sierra Club’s clean car campaigner and a Boston-area resident, was an early customer for the Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid. She wrote on her blog:

“When I first heard about Toyota’s plans for the plug-in Prius, I remember thinking, ‘What kind of customer would buy a plug-in car that has such a short electric range of 11-15 miles?’ Then, as I thought about it, I realized this car actually fits my family's needs to a T. We’re a one-car family (except for a brief period right now). On most week days, we drive under 10 miles around our home city of Cambridge, Massachusetts (where we often walk or take the train or bus)…. I’m thrilled that almost all of our local city driving miles are electric -- with no gas or tailpipe emissions.”

OK, now take all the Coplon-Newfields who live in California, give them HOV incentives, and you have the typical Prius Plug-In Hybrid customer. Their numbers are likely to grow, and definitely as the word gets out and the car is actually available outside coastal America.

The Prius Plug-Ins other states are Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia and Hawaii. It rolls out nationally next year.

Here's Consumer Reports' video report on the car:

Comments

· PAT (not verified) · 2 years ago

Plub in prius to have 15 miles of electric range is ridiculous ..where can u go on 15 mph around the block ... Volt is better option with 40 miles of eletric range and new design where the battery runs the car and not ICE.

· Proud Plug-In Owner (not verified) · 2 years ago

In the 2 months that we have owned our Prius Plug-In, the range has been slowly increasing as the battery goes through a break-in cycle. We are currently up to a beginning range of 20.3 miles when we start out in the morning, but this number is misleading because we were very surprised to learn that the car actually charges itself while driving every time that we coast or brake. It is also smart enough to know when there will be too much drain on the battery and reverts to standard hybrid mode for short periods of time. Additionally, it provides you with mpg results for each individual trip, as well as overall average mpg. On an average day, we start out with a range of 20.3, drive 20 miles to work, and end with 9-10 miles of range left and an average mpg for that trip of 100-120. During the 20 mile trip home, we usually arrive home with about 2 miles of range left and an average mpg of around 65 due to more aggressive driving. We charge the car with our 110 garage outlet, which takes less than 3 hours and costs under 40 cents per charge in our area. We also use the car for longer highway trips of upwards of 100 miles and average about 55-60 mpg. The best way to describe this car is by calling it a "Super-Prius.". Lastly, we are not high mileage fanatics, but regular drivers who have not had to change our habits to reap Prius rewards. Our 2010 Prius dash always reads about 46-48 mpg overall average, while our 2012 Plug-In dash always reads 65-70 mpg average. We originally set out to buy a Volt, but when you factor in charging cost due to longer charge time, premium fuel, potential future high battery replacement cost due to the fact that the battery is 3X larger than the Prius Plug-In, and the fact that the sales pitch at our local dealer was to lease, not buy, because the car will be too expensive to fix out of warranty and the technology is such that it will be obsolete in a few years, there really was no decision to make.

· Proud Plug-In Owner (not verified) · 2 years ago

In the 2 months that we have owned our Prius Plug-In, the range has been slowly increasing as the battery goes through a break-in cycle. We are currently up to a beginning range of 20.3 miles when we start out in the morning, but this number is misleading because we were very surprised to learn that the car actually charges itself while driving every time that we coast or brake. It is also smart enough to know when there will be too much drain on the battery and reverts to standard hybrid mode for short periods of time. Additionally, it provides you with mpg results for each individual trip, as well as overall average mpg. On an average day, we start out with a range of 20.3, drive 20 miles to work, and end with 9-10 miles of range left and an average mpg for that trip of 100-120. During the 20 mile trip home, we usually arrive home with about 2 miles of range left and an average mpg of around 65 due to more aggressive driving. We charge the car with our 110 garage outlet, which takes less than 3 hours and costs under 40 cents per charge in our area. We also use the car for longer highway trips of upwards of 100 miles and average about 55-60 mpg. The best way to describe this car is by calling it a "Super-Prius.". Lastly, we are not high mileage fanatics, but regular drivers who have not had to change our habits to reap Prius rewards. Our 2010 Prius dash always reads about 46-48 mpg overall average, while our 2012 Plug-In dash always reads 65-70 mpg average. We originally set out to buy a Volt, but when you factor in charging cost due to longer charge time, premium fuel, potential future high battery replacement cost due to the fact that the battery is 3X larger than the Prius Plug-In, and the fact that the sales pitch at our local dealer was to lease, not buy, because the car will be too expensive to fix out of warranty and the technology is such that it will be obsolete in a few years, there really was no decision to make.

· · 2 years ago

Fair enough. If the car fits your needs, Proud Plug-In Owner, who am I to criticize? The Toyota Prius - plug in or not - is an overall very good car. Some would say a great one.

One thing I'm not fully understanding in your story, though, is your observation of having to ". . . factor in charging cost due to longer charge time." I think you'll find your electrically generated charging is far less expensive - and more environmentally friendly - per mile than gasoline generated driving. Most who own pure EVs charge at night and have sufficient range for most of their daily driving needs. The charging takes place while the car is in your driveway or garage and while you are asleep.

I guess the question I have for Toyota is why they sat on the concept of a plug in Prius for so long? This really would have been a revolutionary trend some 6 or 7 years ago, when there wasn't a single all-electric car on the market.

Surprising, too, to hear how the local Chevy dealer was pushing the Volt lease option to the point of warning you of potential unreliability of long term ownership of such a complex vehicle. A Plug In Prius is not all that much simpler than a Volt.

In regards to drive train, range extender and/or hybrids are always going to be more complex than straight gasoline cars. Pure EVs are the simplest.

· Anonymous (not verified) · 2 years ago

Have one, it works beautifully since I have a charging station at work as well. I use almost zero gas to go to and from work.

BTW, that dealer sold you a bill of goods to get you to lease, the hyrbid technology has a 10 year, 150,000 mile warranty mandated by California, and in 3 years, the residual is 17k, not outdated technology by any means. Regardless, the lease terms over the past 2 months have been really good, so you didn't get jacked financially.

· john1701a (not verified) · 2 years ago

>> I guess the question I have for Toyota is why they sat on the concept of a plug in Prius for so long?

Cost was a major priority. Why rollout a vehicle so expensive few can actually purchase it? In the meantime, lithium energy-density improved.

Also, let's not overlook the reality that 50 MPG is still delivered following depletion. No penalty for carrying a larger battery-pack is nice design benefit.

>> Plub in prius to have 15 miles of electric range is ridiculous ..where can u go on 15 mph around the block ... Volt is better option

Don't know how PHV actually works or just promoting Volt?

Suburb driving is fantastic, pretty much always EV for me. I really enjoy running errands around town with mine. On the highway is great too, delivering +100 MPG when cruising at high speed.

Here in Minnesota, far from either coast, I've had mine for almost 6 months. 8,000 miles later, including a trip up north with bikes on the back, my average measured at the pump is 86 MPG.

>> In regards to drive train, range extender and/or hybrids are always going to be more complex than straight gasoline cars.

No. A 6-speed automatic transmission is clearly more complicated than the power-split device in Prius. It's basically a differential, elegantly simple.

Don't forget how much easier of a life the engine is. Acceleration onto a highway is typically just 1500 RPM for PHV, since the electric motor handles a burnt of the burden. Driving around town, the engine is barely used... sometimes not at all.

The design is well proven. Taking advantage of more electricity makes it even better.

· · 2 years ago

What I seem to be observing, John1701a, is that the OEMs are now able to market plug-ins to satisfy California's Zero Emissions Mandate that are less and less electric with each model being introduced.

We start with the Volt, which is rated for just under 40 miles of electric-only driving. Then, the Ford C-Max comes out and is half that range (forgetting the fact that Ford also has the pure electric Focus EV, but now basically refuses to sell it.) The Plug In Prius is rated at 15 miles in pure EV mode. I cynically asked on another discussion thread here at Plug In Cars just the other day who would give us the first 10 or 5 mile electric range plug-in and still have the audacity put an "EV" or "Electric" badge on it.

What's wrong with this picture? We should be moving in the opposite direction. Subsequently introduced range extender EVs, if anything, should be offering greater electric-only range as new models are being introduced, not less. The internal combustion engine should be getting smaller, not larger . . .

http://www.plugincars.com/chevy-volt-dump-14-liter-favor-turbocharged-20...

And, sorry, but Toyota was building fully electric RAV4s (same technology NiMH batteries that's in the Prius) in the late 1990s. Lessees had to fight Toyota to not take them back and crush them (those who were leasing GM's EV1 weren't as fortunate.) When the Prius was introduced, many were asking how long it would be before a plug in version would be introduced. Toyota basically said "never." But competently designed aftermarket conversions popped up shortly after, as Toyota simply couldn't bring themselves to do it on their own. 6 or 7 years after people started asking Toyota for a factory plug-in version, they finally comply. There was a demand as far back as 2005.

An internal combustion engine has hundreds of moving parts. The planetary transmission required to mate it to an electric motor is also something that involves a myriad of carefully engineered and assembled components. I'm not declaring that the Toyota system isn't well thought out or that it's inherently unreliable. But the system IS mechanically complex . . . far more so than what is needed to make a pure electric car move forward. It also still ties you to a depleting and polluting resource: petroleum.

Some here will look at the current crop of range extender cars and declare "we've arrived" or "problem solved." I look at them and observe that it's an intermediary and transitional technology, in much the same way that military piston/prop aircraft needed a transitional hybrid bridge back in the 1940s, before pure jet aircraft completely proved their worth . . .

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consolidated_Vultee_XP-81

We have pure electrics right now with no tailpipes (and, thus, no tailpipe emissions.) We just need to feed them the next generation batteries to both extend the range and lower the purchase price.

I would prefer to see automotive R&D work on this problem and getting us completely divorced from gasoline, rather than giving us the next "new and improved" range extender car that offers, say, just 2.5 miles of exclusive electric range and is disingenuously given an "EV" moniker. I'd like the engineers to win this fight, not the lawyers.

· Anonymous (not verified) · 2 years ago

@Benjamin Nead

I share your frustration with Toyota's inscrutable foot dragging, But apparently the "super Prius" has a few things going for it.

1). Current Prius owners upgrading absolutely LOVE it, and think 15 miles is really far.

2). The fact that they are substituing petroleum for substantially american made power for at least a little ways is noteworthy.

3). Since Plug-in Prius owners are such great salesmen, there will be plenty of Volts and Focus EV's, and Leafs bought by the rest of the neighbors.

· Bill Howland (not verified) · 2 years ago

EDITOR: Please delete my accidentally labeled post prior to this one.

@Benjamin Nead

I share your frustration with Toyota's inscrutable foot dragging, But apparently the "super Prius" has a few things going for it.

1). Current Prius owners upgrading absolutely LOVE it, and think 15 miles is really far.

2). The fact that they are substituing petroleum for substantially american made power for at least a little ways is noteworthy.

3). Since Plug-in Prius owners are such great salesmen, there will be plenty of Volts and Focus EV's, and Leafs bought by the rest of the neighbors.
.

· · 2 years ago

"1). Current Prius owners upgrading absolutely LOVE it, and think 15 miles is really far."
Clearly the opportunity to be smug (http://www.southparkstudios.com/full-episodes/s10e02-smug-alert) has been motivating even the old crop of gas-guzzling Priuses for over a decade now. Adding a plug just gives them an opportunity to show they are above the rest of the pack. It doesn't take much to convince people that they are better then others even if it is only incrementally better. I can see how the ICE companies could continue to try to exploit this fact.

· Nigel Hendricks (not verified) · 2 years ago

Toyota is recalling some Prius models after second Hollywood suicide: http://hollywoodandswine.com/toyota-to-investigate-prius-following-secon...

· EVlvr (not verified) · 2 years ago

The plug in Prius is IMO a stopgap measure by Toyota to keep the Volt from stealing the halo it's been wearing for years. That's business I guess, and I'm sure there will be many who have been so blinded by that halo that they fail to consider the superior virtues of the Volt. Not only its superior EV range, but its superior driving feel.

I also feel good about supporting domestic carmakers, as hard as they've worked to escape the dark shadow of the years of inferior products. Things have changed in Detroit, and I want to support those efforts to survive and excell. The Volt excells, and it is changing the game.

With all the Priuses sold here in the USA, shame on Toyota for never having it built in one of their factories here.

· Spec (not verified) · 2 years ago

It is not a bad car. However, it is such a disappointment considering all they had to do was make the battery a little bigger and make the electric motor a little more powerful and it would have been so much better. Basically all they did was what hobbyists were doing to their normal Prius cars 8 years earlier.

· · 2 years ago

The way I see it, the Plug-In Prius is a minimalist design. It was designed to the minimum requirements for the minimum tax credit and qualification for the Green HOV stickers. That's it. Among existing Prius drivers that had their Yellow stickers invalidated, this is a clear and obvious choice. It is familiar and it qualifies them for solo HOV lane use again. That will be reason enough for many California drivers, whether they ever plug it in or not.

· hxp417 (not verified) · 2 years ago

EV enthusiastic, don't need be too radical and aggressive; if all the Plug-in Prius on the road can get people an average 75 mpg at the pump (excluding the electricity they use); it is already a big step between 50 mpg and 100 mpg; in which 50 (regular Prius) is still pretty advanced in the real world; and 100 is still the distant goal for the mass (Leaf is 99 but are not doing very well in market)

· · 2 years ago

@hxp417,
I think you're getting confused between mpg and mpge. mpg indicates a dependence on oil. mpge indicates an inability for most people, especially ICE car companies, to grasp a concept as revolutionary as not needing gas at all.
My Leaf gets closer to infinite mpg since I generate more electricity from the sun than I use to drive every day. How does that stack up against a gas guzzling Prius?

· · 2 years ago

In term of emission (tailpipe and beyond) per EPA, Prius PHV is second greenest plugin (after the subcompact i-MiEV). Focus EV ties second with Prius PHV.

Per EPA, Greenhouse Gas (CO2) tailpipe and beyond (upstream) emission as follow:

- i-MiEV (subcompact) - 200 g/mi
- Prius PHV (midsize) - 210 g/mi
- Focus EV (compact) - 210 g/mi
- Leaf (midsize) - 230 g/mi
- Mode S (large) - 250 g/mi
- Volt (compact) - 260 g/mi

· · 2 years ago

@ex-EV1 driver - Both mpg and mpge represent vehicle efficiency. Fuel production efficiency is completely ignored. Per US Energy Information Administration, electricity production is about 33% efficient. So keep that in mind when you think of the environment from the well-to-wheel. Gasoline production is 85% efficient.

From energy security point of view, anybody who uses electricity can buy green creds to "cancel" out their fossil fuel footprint with renewable. You don't need to drive a car that consumes electricity to do that.

Using EPA rating above, a Volt owner would need to buy more green creds than a i-MiEV owner to remain carbon neutral.

Since a regular (no-plug) Prius has 222 g/mi (178 tailpipe + 44 upstream) carbon footprint, a Prius owner would need to buy less green cred than a Volt owner to maintain domestic fuel and carbon neutral. Note that this comparison ignores the fact that a third of our gasoline is domestic.

· · 2 years ago

@ubseawolf2000,
I reject all of that data as being essentially meaningless. It assumes the average electrical grid is supplying the electricity.
This is certainly not true today given the high concentration of EVs on the west coast where the there is far less carbon in the fuel. It also misses the fact that a large percentage of EV drivers in CA generate a lot of their own solar energy.
For the PHEVs, it is even less useful since nobody (especially the EPA) knows the EV -vs- Gasoline ratio for PHEVs.
It also doesn't mention that the iMiev driver will be driving and ICE more often because of the limited range of the vehicle.
The inaccuracy of the data greatly exceeds the differences between the vehicles in the list.
You would be much better off just stating the kWhr/mile efficiency of the platform in EV mode and move on instead of just being alarmist and showing a GHG production.

· hxp417 (not verified) · 2 years ago

@ex-EV1 driver : you are right, I got confused, very easily actually, since they made up this silly MPGe thing, it is indeed silly because gasoline and electricity can hardly be equivalent, by all means.

Let me reword it this way: a regular sedan burns 0.04 gallon per mile, regular Prius burns half of that, 0.02 gallon/mile, EVs use 0 gallon/mile, if a Plug in Prius can do it on 0.01, it is already a big step towards 0.

(by the way, I don't think it's appropriate to call a Prius "gas guzzling", maybe in 10 to 20 years you can, but not any time soon.)

· · 2 years ago

@hxp417
" . . . to call a Prius "gas guzzling" . . . "
In my case, its very much true today and has been for the past 3 1/2 years (and 3 EV1 years from '99 - '03) since I've driven more than 100,000 miles without gasoline, most of them with solar power.
Once you regularly drive a full-capability EV* that can do all or most of what you need to do without any gasoline, you see there is a fundamental difference between "better mpg" and "no gas". It becomes clear that the only difference between an SUV and a Prius is how long you stand at the pump and how much money you put into it. I see this clearly when I need to drive a company car at work, whether it is our Prius, a pickup, or an SUV.

* by "full-capability EV", I'm including PHEVs, unless, of course, you drive on freeways with the rest of the traffic, in which I don't include the PiP since it must run it's ICE in order to realistically keep up with freeway traffic.

· · 2 years ago

@hxp417: "a regular sedan burns 0.04 gallon per mile, regular Prius burns half of that, 0.02 gallon/mile, EVs use 0 gallon/mile, if a Plug in Prius can do it on 0.01, it is already a big step towards 0. "

You can keep dividing that number in half, but you will never get to 0.

Using less gas is not really a step towards using no gas. If you view oil as an addiction (G.W.Bush himself used this term), then using less of it is not an acceptable solution. What's more, if you accept that oil is a finite resource (pretty much all scientists outside of Russia agree on this), using less gas only delays the inevitable. We WILL run out someday. When that day comes, the Leaf will still be 100% functional, while the PiP will be a joke. In the meantime, oil will continue to get more and more expensive.

· Hamilton (not verified) · 2 years ago

Cant believe the batteryack is only good for 15 miles. Ridiculous. ...should have 3 times that range....

· · 2 years ago

Wash S U expects to have their tin anode Li ion battery on the market by 2013 June:
http://news.wsu.edu/pages/publications.asp?Action=Detail&PublicationID=3...

That will, among other things, triple the energy capacity of Li ion batteries. If they license it to Toyota, the PiP will go from 15 miles e to 45 -- equivalent to the Volt and yet still have the Prius' high mpg hybrid when needed.

But then, a year or two later, the new Volt will be coming out and it may have the Envia battery which will push it even further ahead in e miles (or would allow it to use a smaller battery pack for better acceleration, braking, and handling, cheaper price, and more interior or luggage room).

Things are taking a LOT longer than I anticipated, but come ~2016, we should be in a good place re hybrids, plug-ins, and CNG if OPEC and Wall Street speculators like George Soros should try to put the screws to us again.

· The Car Family (not verified) · 2 years ago

We write a car column on review all cars.
http://www.motorists.org/carfamily/volt-vs-prius
We bought the Prius and the reason was simple: It is quicker to charge and gets much better fuel mileage in the long run. The limited range of the lithium pack means it is ideal for around town or stop and go traffic. The Volt is a better bet is you have the time to recharge it and travel within the 35 or so mile range of its battery pack. After that you seldom get even 35 mpg. Read the article.

· The Car Family (not verified) · 2 years ago

John K, George Soros has nothing to do with this. Try to keep politics out of this. The problem is that battery packs that are more extreme are also highly explosive. Litigation is a concern. It isn't politics, it is safety.

· · 2 years ago

@The Car Family
I'm not sure you really have grasped what charging an EV really means if you think the PiP charges faster than the Volt. I contend that they charge essentially at the same speed, with at most a 14% advantage to the PiP depending on a second-order effect.
They both charge at the same rate if plugged into the same 240v/15a connector.
The battery size really doesn't affect the charging time at all. Who really cares how long it takes to charge the battery. What you really care about is how long it takes to charge it enough to go some number of miles.
The only reason for the difference is that the PiP goes more miles per kWhr than the Volt.
If you run the math, you find that in order to charge to 11 miles on each car, it takes about 1 hr and 20 minutes for the PiP and 1 hr and 30 minutes for the Volt. Actually, I suspect that the Volt might actually charge faster since the PiP's charging may slow down as it approaches full while the Volt, having more battery capacity, will likely still be charging at full rate when it gets 11 miles of range in it.

The difference then is somewhere between 0 and 10 minutes to go 11 miles but, of course, with the PiP, driving on electricity alone, you can't ever drive further than 11 miles or faster than 62 mph. With the Volt you can do both.
I realize that this is a subtlety that inexperienced EV drivers often miss. I certainly hope you will be happy with your PiP even if your reasons for purchasing it weren't sound. As long as you don't want to drive all-electric over 62 mph or more than 11 miles, you should be just as happy with the PiP, maybe even more happy since you'll have spent less money and you get the middle seat in back.

· · 2 years ago

"Actually, I suspect that the Volt might actually charge faster since the PiP's charging may slow down as it approaches full while the Volt, having more battery capacity, will likely still be charging at full rate when it gets 11 miles of range in it."

I believe that would definitely be the case EX. Once the PiP gets to roughly 95% charged it will slow down charging considerably, and any advantage it had over the Volt at that point would be lost in a couple of minutes. As you mentioned, the PiP enjoys the utility of the extra seat, the lower initial price and higher MPG than the Volt and that may very well make it a better choice for "The Car Family". However for people that want the better acceleration and handling of the Volt as well as the greater all electric range, which allows many Volt owners to drive on electric virtually all the time the choice for them is clear.

The claim that the PiP "gets much better fuel mileage in the long run" is misleading if not just flat out wrong. If the "long run" you are talking about is getting in a fully charged car and driving it 300 miles without stopping, then yes the PiP gets better mileage for that particular "long run." However if the "long run" is the lifetime of the car than you can't possibly make that claim. It all depends on how you drive. If the owner drives less than 50 miles per day (like the vast majority of Americans) than the Volt will certainly get "better mileage in the long run" as it will be driving on electric about 80% of the time compared to the PiP which would be driving on gas 90% of the time.

· Anonymous (not verified) · 2 years ago

In order to have the capability to have a rapid charge at home you need to pay over two thousand dollars for the charger plus installation. You can recharge the Prius in three hours using any outlet such as at home or work. I have driven all the hybrids and written about them and afer that we bought the Prius. The Volt would have been our choice if we didn't travel much outside the local area as it was much better handling, althought visibility was more limited to the rear of the vehicle. We drive each hybrid for a week. As for the Prius plug-in being a stop-gap measure, that may be correct so I highly recommend leasing. One item not mentioned is that all Prius plug-ins and some Volts are eligible for the HOV lane sticker which adds considerably value to a car in congested areas of the country. Also, we just took a 1000 mile trip from California to Arizona and averaged over 50 mpg with three adults and luggage on board and averaged 68 mph. No other hybrid can match that.

· · 2 years ago

Wife's Volt is currently at 550 mpg. Her commute is 12 miles one way with about 8 miles freeway driving. No charger at work (public school). Don't expect any in near future. Could never have achieved that in a PiP. The 5th seat is the only issue when other's visit us. Charge overnight every night with 120V. 9.5 hrs flat when fully depleted - 10 pm to 7.30 am never a problem.

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