Plug-in Prius Due Out in 2012; Two Years After Chevy Volt

According to a report in Japan’s Nikkei business paper, Toyota expects to sell as many as 30,000 plug-in Prius models annually once production begins in 2012. This would put the PHEV Prius on the market almost two years after General Motors has said its plug-in hybrid, the Volt, will be launched.

The paper is also reporting that pricing will be close to the $50,000 mark (4.59 million yen) in Japan. That is roughly twice the price of the current Prius hybrid.

Toyota is working with Panasonic Energy Co. which is supplying the lithium-ion batteries that will help to run the Prius PHEV. The battery packs will allow the Prius PHEV to run on just battery power from 12.4 to 18.6 miles (20 to 30 km).

A limited number of plug-in Prius models are due to hit the roads on three continents by the end of this year with 200 in Japan and 150 each in Europe and the U.S. These vehicles will be leased to corporations and governments.

[Source: Automotive News]

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