Like the Chevy Volt, the 2012 Prius Plug-in has been approved California’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Program (CVRP) and more importantly is eligible to receive the HOV lane sticker. The latter allows drivers in the Prius Plug-in to drive in the “car pool lane” with only one driver in the car.
The CVRP is a consumer incentive that offers buyers of the Prius Plug-in $1,500 Federal Tax credit that will be provided to consumers on a first come first-served basis. These grants are available when a vehicle is either purchased or leased for 36 months or longer. The CVRP is funded by the California Air Resources Board (ARB).
The Prius Plug-in Hybrid, combines the benefits of the Hybrid Synergy Drive with a dedicated electric driving (EV) capability. Available in March of 2012, the Prius Plug-in features a new Lithium-ion battery, which boosts its overall fuel economy and offers convenient charging times of only 2.5 to 3 hours using a standard 120V outlet or 1.5 hours using 240V.
While in EV Mode, the Prius Plug-in is rated by the EPA to drive up to 11 miles. It’s also capable of traveling up to 62 mph using electric power alone. During EV Mode driving, the Prius Plug-in is rated at 95 MPGe. In hybrid mode, it has an EPA combined mileage rating of 50 mpg. This means that when the EV Mode is depleted, Prius Plug-in still obtains the same estimated high fuel economy rating as Prius Liftback. With its Lithium-ion power and extended electric vehicle mode, the Prius Plug-in is EPA-rated for a total driving range of 540 miles.
The base MSRP for the Prius Plug-in Hybrid is $32,000. The Prius Plug-in Hybrid Advanced has an MSRP of $39,525. Both Prius Plug-in models are eligible for up to $4,000 worth of government-supported consumer incentives ($2,500 federal tax credit¹ and $1500 worth of the State of California’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Program), in addition to offering eligibility for California’s High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane sticker.
At launch, the Prius Plug-in Hybrid will be available in the following 14 states: California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia. A national rollout of Prius Plug-in is planned for 2013.