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Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid Over 6,000 Units

And to think Toyota said it wouldn’t work. The company reports 6,000 Prius PHEV left the lots.

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When Toyota introduced the Prius, it was more of an exercise than a moneymaker. Seeing the results, seeing the passion amongst environmentalists, Toyota decided to concentrate on the Prius. Pretty soon the boring looking sedan was discontinued and the funky looking Prius hatchback continued to be further refined.

A decade later, Toyota had worked out the kinks, broke even and started making money on it. Unfortunately, the Prius pretty much stayed the same technically, a very mild hybrid. After 10 years of production, Toyota was keen to say its seats were completely recyclable. But many of us asked the company to make a plug-in version. After all, Hy Motion and other tweakers had after market lithium battery pack that turned the hybrid into a plug-in hybrid, PHEV. Still, Toyota resisted preferring a slow and methodical approach to refining its Prius.

The Prius PHEV Quietly Hits The Market. You could say Toyota almost dragged its feet introducing the Prius Plug-in Hybrid. No fanfare, no flashy multi-million dollar advertizing ad campaign, the PHEV landed here and there almost incognito. But 6,000 units sold later in no less than six month, this proves Toyota that people are not only ready but expect more from the company.

Numbers, And More Darn Numbers. We can bend and make any number say anything. None of it is more obvious than in the car industry. If the GM Chevy Volt grabbed the attention of media outlets for its stellar August sales number, we can also argue that the numbers were somewhat artificial. Dealer incentives and other rebates pushed the car into high gears. Toyota says its first full six-month sales pace were 6,061 units sold, compared to the Chevrolet Volt Plug-In Hybrid 2,745 units and Nissan’s all-electric Leaf at 3,875 units. Nissan Leaf? But that’s a full-electric car, so why should that be referred to here?

All of this is possible with a 4.4 kWh lithium-ion battery pack that helps the car achieve 95 MPGe in pure electric driving mode and the regular 50 MPG estimate in hybrid mode. The electric only mode gives you an estimated 11 miles under EPA rating and as usual this will vary greatly on your driving style, terrain and climate.

Obviously, no matter how pragmatic and careful Toyota is, especially after a particularly brutal year of constant recalls, its Prius PHEV offense is odd at best. Barely noticed with great sales record, this press release comes on the heels of two or three weeks of constant unveilings of plug-in hybrids from other makers, more often than not in very loud PR marketing campaigns. Toyota knows it has to deal with mounting pressure from other makers, European and US with its Prius plug-in hybrid.

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