The Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid, with a new lithium-ion battery, is now available in two models for ordering in 14 launch states, with deliveries beginning in spring, 2012.
The base model has a starting price of $32,760 and the Prius Plug-in Advanced starts at $40,285, including the $760 freight charge from Japan. Both models are expected to qualify for a federal tax credit of approximately $2,500.
The plug-in model is based on the third-generation Prius Liftback and has extended electric vehicle range. It can be driven on battery power up to 15 miles at a maximum speed of 62 mph. Toyota expects an estimated 87 MPGe – miles per gallon equivalent – and a combined 49 mpg city/highway fuel economy in hybrid mode.
Charging a depleted battery will take 2½ to 3 hours using a standard 120-volt outlet or 1½ hours using 240-volt.
Special design features for the plug-in model include chrome grille and bumper trim, chrome door handles, unique 15-inch alloy wheels, blue-accented headlamps, a distinct tail lamp design and a new Hybrid Synergy Drive Plug-in badge.
Standard equipment includes heated front seats, remote air conditioning system (which can run off the grid while the vehicle is plugged in or off the battery), a charger timer, EV-ECO-Power driving modes, three-door Smart Key, audio display screen with navigation, rearview camera and Entune multimedia system.
The Advanced model adds such extras as HDD Navigation with Entune and JBL GreenEdge amplifier and “acoustic lens” speakers, head-up gauge display, dynamic radar cruise control, pre-collision system, Softer (leatherette-like) upholstery and eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat. There also are smartphone applications for charge management, remote air conditioning activation, charging station map, vehicle finder and Eco dashboard.
Orders can be placed at http://www.toyota.com. The launch states include California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia.A national rollout is planned for 2013.