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On the 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid

Starting in March 2012, the Prius Plug-in will be available at participating dealers in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington. Hopefully, availability will expand to several more states in 2012.  If you don’t live in one of these states, the Toyota website can direct you to the closest dealership if you don’t mind driving a few hundred miles for your plug-in hybrid. Potentially, you could drive it permanently in hybrid mode without ever plugging it in.  On the other hand, Toyota does not advise somebody to ever drive it without a drop of gas in the tank.


The all electric mode is limited by mileage and speed, meaning you can travel up to 15 miles on a charge, and you are also limited to 62 MPH in all-electric mode.  After you hit these thresholds the vehicle switches to hybrid mode.  You also have the option to manually toggle between EV mode and regular hybrid mode.


This Prius plugs into any standard household outlet with a dedicated 15-amp circuit. The Plug-in Prius requires no additional charging stations or equipment.  The car comes packaged with a 120V cordset.

Tax Credits

August 2011
Individual purchasers of a Prius Plug-in vehicle may be able to take advantage of the Federal Qualified Plug-in Electric Drive Motor Vehicle tax credit. The Prius Plug-in vehicle tax credit is estimated to be approximately $2,500. However, the Internal Revenue Service has not yet reviewed or confirmed the specific amount of credit, so at this time there are no assurances any purchasers will be able to take advantage of any specific amount of the credit, from zero credit up to the above estimate.

To qualify for the potential Plug-in tax credit:

  • 1. The Plug-in vehicle must be new. Used vehicles will not qualify.
  • 2. The Plug-in vehicle must be purchased. Leased vehicles will not allow the lessee to take advantage of the Plug-in tax credit.
  • 3. The Plug-in vehicle use is primarily in the United States.
  • 4. The purchaser must retain appropriate documentation showing the purchase of the vehicle and the date of the delivery of the vehicle.


So is the Plug-in Prius right for you?  If you have a short commute, and rarely highway drive, this vehicle is a great choice because you will be maximizing your miles per gallon.  Short commutes on smaller roads will encourage regenerative braking, which recharges the batteries in hybrid and electric drivetrains such as the Prius.  While the EV range is short at 15 miles, individuals that can recharge at work or at home can go a long time without using any gasoline.  Starting at $32,000, the Prius Plug-in carries about a $9,000 premium over the 2012 Prius Hybrid, but if you want to make the first step in personal oil independence, the Prius Plug-in is a safe and progressive choice.

For more information go to Toyota’s Website