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Toyota is banking on its plug-in Prius hybrid and other new models to help bring their sales numbers back to pre-2008 status, where Toyota had no trouble grabbing the global sales crown each year. Currently Toyota is poised to lose that trophy to General Motors, undoubtedly due to the earthquake in March in Japan and the floods in Thailand hampering production.
But Toyota has a bright future ahead of them with their abundance of gasoline-electric vehicles on the horizon. There’s no doubt the Prius has enjoyed immense success worldwide and the Prius PHV hybrid will be introduced to the Japanese market on January 30th, with a starting price around $41,000. Toyota is aiming to sell 35,000 to 40,000 plug-in Priuses a year in Japan alone.
The new Prius PHV has a cruising range of 16.4-miles on its lithium-ion battery and can be charged using a household electricity outlet. Toyota hopes that the PHV will be able to compete with the electric car market while enticing consumers that are hesitant to buy an all-electric car.
[Source: Automotive News]
Toyota is ambitious on sales of the plug-in version of its popular Prius hybrid. In an interview with the Detroit Free Press, company spokesman John Hanson commented that, “We’re certainly on line to sell 16,000 to 17,000 in 2012.”
That would put the Prius Plug-in Hybrid well ahead of rivals like the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt. So far this year, Nissan has managed to sell just shy of 4,000 Leaf EVs, with Volt sales totaling in 2,745 at the mid-way point of the year.
Toyota is also confident that it won’t have any supply issues with the car, with Hanson commenting that they will build as many of the cars as the market demands.
When it does arrive in early 2012, the Prius Plug-in Hybrid will be able to travel 13 miles emissions free, before switching over to a conventional hybrid system, and achieving 50-mpg average. While the electric-only range won’t be equal to that of the Volt or Leaf, the Prius PHEV is expected to cost significantly less.