Monday, September 19, 2011

Toyota Prius Plug-in: A modest route to the electric

The 2012 Toyota Prius is the best hybrid for you if you want to get 50 mpg and don’t want to think about range or recharging -- and perhaps 70 mpg if you do.

The 2012 Toyota Prius will likely add a plug-in hybrid model, expanding its line to cover two of today’s top three alternative-fuel technologies. The plug-in Prius is due during calendar 2012, likely as an addition to the regular 2012 Prius lineup. Basically, it’ll have the ability to travel approximately 13 miles on electric power alone, versus much briefer durations and distances for the regular Prius. Both will continue to combine a gas engine with an electric motor wrapped in a highly aerodynamic five-passenger, four-door hatchback body. The plug-in Prius will join the 2011 Chevrolet Volt as the first mass-market gas-electric cars that tap the power grid for part of their energy, while the 2011 Nissan Leaf blazes a trail for the modern full-electric car.

Should you wait for the 2012 Toyota Prius or buy a 2011 Toyota Prius? Buy a 2011 Prius if you fancy the world’s most successful “conventional” hybrid. Wait for the 2012 Prius if you’ve an appetite for the latest gas-electric tech done the Toyota way.