Prius Plug-in off to a strong start

The 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in hybrid has sold over 6,000 units in its first six months on sale. Ingram writes that the demand is due to the Prius Plug-In's excellent fuel economy and its relative value next to the Chevy Volt.

David Zalubowski/AP/File
This February 2012 file photo shows a line of 2012 Prius sedans at a Toyota dealership in the south Denver suburb of Littleton, Colo. The Prius Plug-in is rated at 95 MPGe in EV mode, and 50 MPG combined on gas only, Ingram writes.

The 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In hybrid has got off to a good start in its first six months on sale, with over 6,000 units sold so far.

That, says Toyota, is more than the first six months of Chevrolet Volt sales, at 2,745 units, and Nissan Leaf sales, which managed 3,875 cars in its first month.

Toyota is putting demand for the Prius Plug-In down to not just its fuel economy--rated at 95 MPGe in EV mode, and 50 MPG combined on gas only--but also for its relative value next to the Chevy Volt, and lack of range anxiety next to pure electrics like the Leaf.

The Prius name may also have something to do with those sales, as for previous Prius owners, familiarity with the existing model will go a long way--longer electric range aside, it feels no different to drive.

Owners seem pleased with the experience so far, too.

Just as buyers of the Chevy Volt are finding, the extra EV range is genuinely useful, even if it doesn't entirely cover an owner's commute. Naturally, the Volt handles this better than the Prius, thanks to its 35-mile electric range--the Prius Plug-In is rated at 11 miles by the EPA.

Even so, Prius owners are recording high MPG figures on the car's computer--one owner recording 136 MPG after 4,000 miles with a 31-mile each way commute, and another managing 120 MPG on his own commute, mostly done at low speeds in EV mode. We managed 104 MPG on our most recent drive in the car, and eked out 12 miles of EV range before the gasoline engine kicked in.

A full charge of the Plug-In's 4.4 kWh lithium-ion battery takes around 2.5 to 3 hours from a standard 120V outlet, or 1.5 hours from a 240V charging station.

It also qualifies for a $2,500 Federal Tax Credit if you're eligible, and a further $1,500 rebate as part of California's Clean Vehicle Rebate Program, taking the $32,000 Prius Plug-In down to as little as $28,000 for a select few.

The car is also eligible for California's HOV lane sticker.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to Prius Plug-in off to a strong start
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today