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Prius v

Prius Plug-in Hybrid
Toyota's newest hybrids get priced

We've talked about the Prius Plug-in Hybrid and the Prius v on a number of occasions here on DailyTech. Now, we have official pricing for both of the new hybrids.

The Prius v will start at $27,140 when it launches in the U.S. this fall. The Prius v uses the same hybrid powertrain as the standard Prius, but has a larger cargo area behind the rear seats (34.3 cu ft versus 21.6 cu ft). The Prius v weighs 200 pounds more than the standard Prius, so fuel economy suffers. Combined fuel economy for the Prius v is 40mpg instead of the loftier 50mpg for the regular Prius.

The Prius Plug-in Hybrid will be priced from $32,760. The new lithium-ion battery pack in the plug-in variant allows the vehicle to travel up to 15 miles on battery power alone (at speeds up to 62mph). After the 15 miles is exhausted, Prius Plug-in Hybrid will operate exactly like any other Prius hybrid. 

Toyota says that the Prius Plug-in Hybrid can be charged in 1.5 hours using a 240V outlet or 2 to 3 hours using a 120V outlet. 

The Prius Plug-in Hybrid also qualifies for a $2,500 federal tax credit.

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RE: Disappointed
By Keeir on 9/17/2011 3:42:48 PM , Rating: 2

I don't think you've read the specs of the Prius Plug-In. Its available at already.

The Plug-in seems to command 7,000 or so dollar premium MSRP+ over the standard Prius.

For 7,000 dollars, one seems to get ~15 miles of EV range that only works upto loads of around 25-30 hp (note the max speed of ~62 mph). 15 miles based on what duty cycle? This is unknown...

Although Toyota has a long run established record of quality...

Lithium batteries are tricky. The Volt contains a 16 kWh battery which only ~8-9kWh is used for the electric range. Allowing for significant reduction

The Prius PHEV contains a 4.4 kWh battery. In 3-5 years when the battery is ~3.6 kWh or less.. what will the range be then?

Looking at the price and specs, I am unsure why someone would buy this PHEV... unless they wanted an EV. If they want an EV, there are better options on the market from full-time Leaf to the Volt.

It seems to take the same market position as the Honda Insight. An EV/PHEV on a budget... but not quite as good as the others. Just like the Insight, it seems a fine car for Japan and part of Europe... but not really for the US. (Almost all high mileage drivers in the US drive more than 62 mph).

Maybe the Prius name will be enough to carry it to the top in sales... but without a special shape... it seems to fall into the same problem the "hybrid" models of popular sedans fall into...

RE: Disappointed
By Spuke on 9/17/2011 4:01:25 PM , Rating: 2
Almost all high mileage drivers in the US drive more than 62 mph
I can't remember why but I was looking for this info a couple of weeks ago. Do you have a link or search criteria for that? I'm really interested in that.

RE: Disappointed
By Brandon Hill on 9/17/2011 4:12:53 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, I know the specs of the Prius Plug-in quite well...

My point was, especially for families, the regular Prius at $22,000 for a base model already is a much better vehicle/value than a Volt. Besides the price difference, there are the points I made above (cargo/passenger space, regular vs premium unleaded, mpg when the motor is running, etc.).

No matter which way you slice it, a $22,000 Prius at 49 mpg make more financial sense than a Volt.

If you just absolutely just WANT to drive on battery only, the Prius Plug-in has the advantage of being able to operate like an EV for a short while AND get fuel economy like a normally Prius (49 mpg) when the portion of the battery dedicated for EV is exhausted.

On the other hand, the Volt operates like an EV for 35 miles, then gets the fuel economy of a regular compact car (37 mpg) when the battery runs out.

If you're an empty nester who only drives in the city and doesn't take highway trips, the Volt is probably for you. But for everyone else, either Prius makes much more financial sense IMHO.

As for the Leaf, it'd make a good second car for many people, but I doubt it would be able to serve as your ONLY vehicle.

RE: Disappointed
By Keeir on 9/17/2011 5:00:14 PM , Rating: 2

The Prius is a fanastic car for small families. There is no doubt about it.

But first, lets stop lying about pricing. A Prius costs a minimum of 24,450. And this does not include car mats even. A equavalent "Volt" Prius costs upwards of 28,000. A equavalent "Volt" Plug-in Prius would be ~35,000... if they let people add the options required... which they may not.

Second, lets stop distorting things. 37 MPG is the Volt's combined cycle fuel economy number. Similiar to the Cruze Eco's 34 MPG number. Its only 10% better then the very best 'normal' compact car. And 20% better than most 'normal' compact cars. Its also true its 20% worse than the Prius's combined number.

Third, lets be honest. Toyota claims the PHEV Prius may get 15 miles and may operate up to 62 mph provided you don't use Air Conditioning, go up hills, need to accelerate, etc. The PHEV Prius is incapable of completeing 3 of the 5 EPA cycles in EV mode. Consider your own driving habits. Unless your an empty nester who lives in the City, you unlikely to be able to use the PHEV Pruis's full EV range.

If you drive under 20 miles between recharges without going on the highway, a PHEV Prius may be a good choice... but its hard to see how you can rack up enough miles to make it worthwhile.

If you drive between 25-50 miles between recharges, a Volt may be a good choice.

If you drive more than 50 miles between recharges, a normal Prius would likely be better than PHEV Prius or Volt.

The question is, how many people driving <20 miles between recharges want to spend an extra 5k over a normal Prius to drive EV but aren't willing to deal with the Leaf's compromises which actually costs less after rebate.

RE: Disappointed
By Brandon Hill on 9/17/2011 5:34:02 PM , Rating: 2
1) Pricing. Either Edmunds is giving the wrong pricing, or something else is going on:

2011 Prius One, MSRP $22,100

I usually go to Edmunds to make quick pricing comparisons across various makes/models, so if their information wrong, I'll concede to this point.

2) I DID that that 37 mpg was one the gasoline engine took over -- it is the combined fuel economy number on gasoline-only per the EPA. I probably shouldn't have said that it's comparable to regular compact cars as its combined is about 3 mpg better than the best compact.

But if we're going to play the numbers game, the Volt is 26% worse than the Prius' combined rating on gasoline-only, not 20%. The Prius is actually 50mpg EPA combined.

3) As to your other points, I would actually have to agree and go back on the statement about the Prius Plug-in being a slam dunk -- it should be the regular Prius that is the slam dunk.

Given the regular Prius' price point and it's fuel efficiency, its a tough act to beat.

The EPA puts the "fuel cost" of going 15,000 miles in a Volt on battery power alone at $648. They put the cost of going 15,000 on gasoline only at $1,580

The cost of a regular Prius going 15,000 miles is listed at $1,098. If you NEVER EVER EVER tap into the gasoline engine on the Volt, then $648 is extremely low. But odds are, you're going to be hitting that gasoline engine a bit and that number is going to inch closer and closer to the Prius' $1,098 fuel cost for 15,000 miles.

Take into account the price differential, and I can't really make a case for the Volt at all.

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