Plug-in Prius goes on sale

The long-awaited PHEV version of Toyota’s trendsetter will begin deliveries in Japan in January, and in the US in March.

 

Toyota opened up the next stretch of the electric highway on Tuesday, as it began taking orders for the new plug-in Prius hybrid. The long-awaited PHEV version of Toyota’s trendsetter will begin deliveries in Japan in January, and in the US in March. The new star of the stable boasts 87 mpg, an all-electric range of 16 miles and a price tag starting around $32,000 in the US.

The plug-in is one of three new Prius models on display at this week’s Tokyo Motor Show. It sports a new lithium-ion battery that’s more powerful and compact than the one in the previous Prius, allowing seating for five people and a bit more space in the back trunk.

Lest you think that Toyota is letting hybrids have all the fun, check out the FT-EV III Concept, also on the podium at Tokyo. With a lithium-ion battery pack below the floor, the Future Toyota-Electric Vehicle III seats four, and has a range of 65 miles. The word is that this is the last of the concepts, and that a production model called the Scion iQ EV will go on sale in the US in 2012.

 

Image: Toyota