The new Toyota Prius Plug-in on display at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
Underscoring the small but fast-growing presence of hybrids in Europe, Toyota brought its Prius Plug-in to Europe for its official world debut this week.
The plug-in will become part of an expanding “family” of hybrids sharing the Prius name, Didier Leroy, President of Toyota of Europe, told an audience at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Set to reach the U.S. market, as well, in the coming months, the Prius Plug-in will have a larger battery pack than the conventional Toyota hybrid to permit it to drive longer distances in pure electric vehicle mode.
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Range will still be a modest 14.5 miles in battery mode – and will restrict the vehicle to speeds of around 60 mph. That’s in sharp contrast to the Chevrolet Volt “extended-range electric vehicle” and its European sibling, the Opel Ampera, which get about 35 miles on a charge and can be used in electric mode at speeds up to around 90 mph.
Toyota, however, plans to sharply undercut the price of the two Detroit offerings. Though the maker won’t reveal figures until closer to launch industry analysts expect something around or under $30,000 in the States – minus the federal $7,500 tax credit. That could mean a buyer would get a plug-in from Toyota for about $10,000 less than a Volt.