Toyota to Sell Plug-in Prius Starting Spring 2012; Estimates $3-5K Premium Over Base Prius

· · 7 years ago

A Toyota executive has spilled the beans on Toyota's aggressive plans to win back the spotlight on the rapidly changing landscape of hybrid and fully electric cars. In addition to six new global hybrids—including the first luxury car to best a 40 mpg combined average—Toyota is planning on releasing three plug-in cars to the U.S. market by the end of 2012.

Toyota Plug-in #1: RAV4

Of course, many of us know that Toyota is working with Tesla to bring back the much beloved RAV4 EV. And yesterday we learned that the collaboration will result in a show car for the 2010 LA Auto Show this November. The updated RAV4 EV is moving along swiftly, in fact the "Toyesla" alliance has already built a prototype and has entered the testing phase.

Toyota Plug-in #2: Small City Car

In addition to the RAV4 EV, Toyota also has plans to introduce a city EV based on the Scion iQ and meant for short hops around crowded urban areas with limited parking. The concept for this car, the FT-EV, was shown at the Detroit Auto Show last year. Since then Toyota has introduced the iQ in the U.S. under their Scion brand, which makes you wonder if the EV based on the iQ will also be sold as a Scion.

Scions are known for their affordability and are marketed to younger, hipper, urbanites (although a fair share of them are actually bought by empty-nesters), so if Toyota does go the Scion route with the city EV, it'll be interesting to see how that translates on the affordability factor.

Toyota Plug-in #3: Prius PHEV

So there are already thousands of homegrown Prius Plug-in Hybrids out there—what with people getting so impatient with Toyota's up-till-now ambivalence towards the electric car—and many of you are likely thinking something along the lines of "about damn time" on this one. But if early results from fleet driving of the Toyota-built plug-in Prius are any indication, this car could be worth the wait: how's an average of 83 mpg for you?

And yesterday, a Toyota spokesman left some very interesting news buried in a New York Times piece: Toyota is now estimating that the Prius Plug-in Hybrid will have a $3,000 to $5,000 premium over the base conventional Prius.


· 55mpg (not verified) · 7 years ago

Will it be possible to convert 2010 Prius to a plug-in version?

· · 7 years ago

I doubt you will be able to do it through Toyota, and if you could they would probably need to charge you $10,000 or so to do it. There are aftermarket companies that make Prius plug in conversions. However, I would think your best option, if you really want the plug in version would be to simply trade in your current Prius for a plug in one or sell it outright and buy a new PIP.

If they can really offer this at around a $4,000 option they are going to sell them faster than they can make them.

· · 7 years ago

As usual, Tom's on the money. ;)

Yes, you can convert any Prius to PHEV. It won't be as good as the factory version, and will likely cost more. Conversions are great for what they are - but they can rarely compete in performance with building the car as a PHEV from the start. The great thing about the 2010 is that is WAS designed to finally be a PHEV - unlike the previous generations that had to be hacked.

· 55mpg (not verified) · 7 years ago

Thanks Tom and darell for the inputs. I was curious about the 2010 Prius, since the car seems to be already built for plug-in capability. There is even a space in the truck where a decent size battery could fit.

I am hoping the after market conversion for the 2010 Prius could be a lot cheaper compared to the conversion of 2009 Prius.

· ChuckR (not verified) · 7 years ago

Your's is the only report quoting $3-5k over "base" Prius cost.

· · 7 years ago

New York Times reports the same thing. Third paragraph from the end:

· · 7 years ago

Sorry I didn't put the link to the NYT article in the body of the post. Serves me right for rushing... But yes, that's where the info comes from.

I've added the link in the post.

· DutchInChicago (not verified) · 7 years ago

I have been waiting for the plug in Prius for a couple of years but have now decided on the leaf. I guess Toyota have lost a lot of customers like me by being slow on this one.

· · 7 years ago

I could be wrong, but I think Chuck was referring to the word "base".
Nick, you wrote "$3,000 to $5,000 premium over the base conventional Prius." and most other sites simply reported "cost about $3,000 to $5,000 more than the traditional Prius."

The difference is that there are four trim levels for the prius: prius 2, prius 3, prius 4 and prius 5. The MSRP ranges from prius 2 of $22,800 to prius 5 at $28,070.

So lets say Toyota only lets you have the plug in option on a prius 5. The car would then be in the $31,000 to $33,000 price range.

If they let you order it on a prius 2 or "base" model then it could be as low as $25,800 to $28,000 or $5,000 less than the prius 5 plug in.

By using the word "base" I think it implies that you can order the plug in option on a prius 2 and I'm not sure Toyota is going to offer that. Perhaps you could contact them to ask for clarification.

· ChuckR (not verified) · 7 years ago

Yes. That's what I was referring to.

· · 7 years ago

So I can understand the confusion, and I'll get in contact with Toyota when I can (I'm at a conference until next week right now... Brad?). But I'm not the only one saying "base" (AutoblogGreen has also used that term, and others). In some ways I think we're splitting hairs at this point, b/c I have a feeling that even Toyota hasn't thought that far ahead. "Base" can be thought of in many different ways, so perhaps it was a poor word choice, but what I intended to mean with the word was "above and beyond the cost of a conventional model Prius"... but that didn't work so well in a short title :)

· · 7 years ago

I understand it's splitting hairs Nick, but isn't that what blogs and tech websites like this are for?
So people like us can argue, bicker and discuss the little details that the other 99% of the population doesn't care about?
; )

· · 7 years ago

Touche :)

· james braselton (not verified) · 6 years ago

hi there wow $5,000 primium thats like $34,000 thats up there in price

· · 6 years ago

When oh when does this car become reality so we can stop screwing around... find out what it will really be and what it will really cost.

· devprius (not verified) · 6 years ago

The cars have started arriving in the US for customers who did pre-orders back in November 2011. The Prius Plugin Base is $32,000, and the Advanced Technology model is $39,525. The Prius Plugin Base is equivalent to a Prius 2 with some Prius 3 features thrown in (Navigation, backup camera, heated seats). If you factor in the Federal Tax Credit, it drops the price of a Base to about 29,500 which is about $4000 more than an equivalent Prius III. Factor in any local rebates available (CA has a $1500 rebate available) and it further drops the price down. The Advanced Technology model is equivalent to a Prius 5 with the Advanced Technology Package. Again, factoring in tax credit and rebates, the Advanced Technology model becomes equivalent in price to a Prius 5.

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