Toyota Prius Plug-InEnlarge Photo
Toyota has announced pricing on two new models from its Prius family: the 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid and the 2012 Toyota Prius V.
And it's clarified that both trim levels of the plug-in Prius will likely qualify for a Federal tax credit of $2,500 (although the government has not yet certified them as eligible).
Prior to any credit, the 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In has been priced at a base $32,760 (including destination), while the Plug-In Hybrid Advanced costs $40,285—with the figures landing remarkably close to what GreenCarReports had predicted, based on recently announced European pricing.
All Plug-In Prius models get remote air conditioning, a charging timer, heated front seats, a Display Audio system with navigation and Entune, and LED running lamps. The Advanced model adds a premium hard-drive nav system, JBL GreenEdge audio, a head-up display, dynamic radar cruise control, a Pre-Collision System, LED headlamps, a power driver's seat, Safety Connect, and smartphone integration.
Initially the Prius Plug-In Hybrid will only be offered in 14 launch states: California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia. Then, in 2013, Toyota will expand availability throughout the U.S.
Toyota also announced that Leviton will be offering a Level 2 home charging station—of up to 30 amps—with special support for Prius Plug-In customers; the system starts at $999.
We've now driven prototype versions of the 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid three separate times. You can read our drive reports here:
And at last check, we assessed the Prius Plug-In as a value-added version of the standard Prius—especially for those looking to potentially reduce their carbon footprint.
But how much added value? That was as much a question then as it is now, and it largely depends on how often you can plug in and how far you drive daily. In a follow-up post, we crunched some of the numbers to demonstrate how it might (or might not) work for you.
Plug-In not a hard-charging bargain, but something different
2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In Drive - March 2011Enlarge Photo
Even given the frequent plugging-in during a weeklong test drive, we only anticipated a savings of $860 on fuel over 100,000 miles—meaning that you're not likely to find any kind of economic return, unless gas prices skyrocket. The Prius Plug-In's base price announced today is about $8,500 more than a base 2011 Toyota Prius.
Toyota estimates that the 2012 Prius Plug-In will deliver 87 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent), while still returning 49 mpg in hybrid mode. Charge times for the lithium-ion battery pack will be just 2.5 to 3 hours with a standard 120-volt household AC outlet or 1.5 hours with 240 volts.