Toyota Prius Prime Arrives In US: Will It Be The Plug-In Sales Champion For 2017

NOV 27 2016 BY JAY COLE 147

Despite some hiccups getting production underway on the new Toyota Prius Prime in Japan this Fall due to some difficulty manufacturing componentry unique to the plug-in version, Toyota still managed to land the car on US soil ahead of the company’s original schedule.

A Prius Prime at Toyota of Oakland is looking for a home

A Prius Prime (with optional 11.6 inch HD multimedia screen) at Toyota of Oakland waits to find a home

The 25 mile plug-in hybrid Toyota (details) was only expected to arrive just before year’s end, but car’s starting arriving on dealer lots in limited quantities on November 8th nonetheless.

Also of note, and some of those cars have already made it out to states that aren’t California. /refreshing

This pleasant delivery surprise from Toyota means that not only will the company manage to log some plug-in sales of consequence this year, but the plug-in is in no danger of finishing last on our monthly plug-in scorecard for US sales (just 52 of the long out-of production 1st generation Prius PHV had been sold thus far in 2016).

Currently as of press, Toyota has already managed to build inventory of the PHEV up to around 250 units nationally passed the sales demand thus far. (but still mostly in California).

UPDATE (December 1st):  Indeed the Prius Prime was very well received in the US, as Toyota sold just about every copy that arrived on dealer lots, and in so doing set a new all-time record for most plug-in sales by a new offering in its first month – ever, with 781 sales in November.

And if the 2017 Prius Prime heads into 2017 well stocked, it could move all the way from the bottom of the plug-in sales charts ni the US to the very top, as the $27,950 price-point is extremely attractive to not only thrifty EV buyers, but traditional consumers of the standard Prius.

Discounting the $4,500 federal credit the Prime is eligible for (thanks to its new, larger 8.8 kWh battery), the new plug-in Prius has an effective price of $23,450 – which is $1,000 less than the base petrol Prius model…of which Toyota historically sells anywhere from 7,000 to 10,000 a month of those.

Inside the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime

Inside the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime

Excluding new plug-in offerings, the Tesla Model S was forecast to sell around ~30,000 to 35,000 copies in the US next year, which translates to a monthly sales rate of 2,500 to 2,900 EVs, while the Chevrolet Bolt EV is estimated to move around 25,000 copies in the US for full year 2017 (~2,100/month).

The original Prius plug-in (which was not competitively priced, and with just 11 miles of electric range) was the #2 best seller in 2012, and #4 in 2013 and 2014 before being discontinued mid 2015.

So what do you think?  Can the much improved, priced-right Toyota Prius Prime be the best selling plug-in for the US?  We think it has a good shot…if properly stocked to demand.

And even if it doesn’t hit the top of the charts, one thing is for certain – the Toyota Prius Prime is here…and it is going to put a lot of new customers behind the wheel of a plug-in car in 2017.

Hat tip to David M!


Categories: Sales, Toyota

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147 Comments on "Toyota Prius Prime Arrives In US: Will It Be The Plug-In Sales Champion For 2017"

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We’ll see.

The new ugly !!

Ugly is an understatement, those front jowls look like some kind of giant insect, enough to scare me away!

Very strange looking.

I’m one of the few that actually thinks the new model Prius looks pretty cool: makes me think of origami. But the new front-end styling on the Prime I do not like. Maybe it will grow on me as I see more of it.

One thing, though, the Prius has typically had pretty distinctive styling, and that seems to have been a smart approach for them, as they’ve dominated hybrid sales vs. other automakers whose hybrids looked mostly the same as their other cars.

The 3rd generation Prius 2009-15 looked pretty distinctive when it was released, but by 2015 not so much.

Yeah, I generally like to say that aesthetics are subjective and leave it at that. But man . . . Toyota really seems to be going with polarizing designs lately. That looks like Star Wars Stormtrooper helmet.

It looks like it has a cleft lip.


I’ll say it one more time.
The Prius line has probably taken wayyyy more carbon off the street than Tesla. They deserve credit and I hope IEV’s projection on sales is correct.

Toyota vs Tesla? Oh boy…

Prius not being 100% Electric is not doing enough. /

Staring out with the Prius & all the Hype about it. One would think Toyota would have the EV pioneers and dominated the EV Market with a Pure EV yrs ago ..

Yep jimijonjack, and it will cost Toyota dearly in the years to come.

Doubtful it will cost them anything much. Has Nissan made big bucks on the Leaf? GM on the Volt?

Meanwhile, 2011-2015 Toyota sold millions of Priuses and has steadily improved the electric components.

Tesla is arguably the only company to make a real success out of plug-in cars so far.

Toyota will sell a lot of Primes, and when they get around to offering a BEV, they will sell a lot of them because it will be rock solid, efficient, reliable and affordable.

Time is now, time is money!

Nissan is a EV Leader. Toyota, not so much!!

And what has Nissan gotten out of being an EV leader? Has it helped their bottom line?

Because I assure you the sales of Priuses 2011 to present helped Toyotas bottom line in a very big way.

Prius are bought mostly by the blue hair crowd that drive <5000 miles a year. Not a lot of carbon either way.

They are everywhere…

And they have a crap-ton of miles on them too!!

@Clive +1

Here in Seattle, most of the taxis nowadays are Prii.

Bigtime !

Eduardo Pelegri-LLopart

Same here, in the SF Bay Area.

Our experience with our 2004 Prius is that they require minimum maintenance. We have >210K miles on it and we have had to do very few things. I not even remember having done the brakes – regen is a winner.

I do quite a bit of long-distance driving. My 2007 Prius has 193,000 miles on it and my hair ain’t blue yet!

& cab companies who drive 100k miles a year

“The Prius line has probably taken wayyyy more carbon off the street than Tesla.”
Sure — they’ve been selling for a lot longer as well, and deserve the credit… For up to about 2011. They’ve done nothing since then.

However, at this point, anyone buying a PiP when in terms of needs a Volt/Bolt or 120+ mi gen-1.5 BEV would do the job (and most of them now have such models) is ecologically speaking completely irresponsible. Much more than half the population does >25mi/day overall (talking daily driving needs, i.e., personal commuting & errands), which means this car will use gas every day, unless it can be charged at worked.

There’s no justification for that — that car’s badly compromised as it is with no 5th seat and low-ish cargo space. I hope not a single one gets sold, so Toyota learns the lesson quickly.

Prepare to have your hopes crushed, heh.

LOL at you calling it ‘ecologically speaking completely irresponsible’ to buy a Prime. Have you seen the efficiency numbers on this thing?

There are a lot of people out there that can do their daily driving on pure electric with the Prime.

And there a lot of people out there who want to buy a car they know will be very reliable and that will hold it’s resale value well.

Sure, that’s probably true. But the Prius has probably been on the street for more than a decade before the Model S.

Let’s not be completely satisfied with a little better . . . let’s keep on pushing for MUCH BETTER.

Toyota can make MUCH BETTER plug-in vehicles than this and we all know it. People should buy Volts, Bolts, Model 3s, and other cars instead until Toyota puts a real effort into plug-ins.

speculawer, Volts are far less efficient in both EV and hybrid mode, are more expensive, and gen 2 is already getting dinged on reliability by Consumer Reports (Dec. 2016 issue). The Bolt is now a low volume compliance only car (for sale in only 2 states), and GM is backing off on its 2017 volume projections. The Model 3 is vaporware. The model S is for rich people.

Get real. People need a transitional vehicle while the BEV market and infrastructure matures. The Volt and Prius Prime offer two credible transitional alternatives to get there.

Acting like people should treat the imperfect as the enemy of the good is short sighted and counterproductive.

Math behind that statement?

Original schedule?

The original schedule was fall. Japan would get it first, but the US was also slated to get it in fall. This is not a month ahead of that schedule.

The revised schedule was end of this year or early next. It is ahead of the revised schedule.

“the new plug-in Prius has an effective price of $23,450 – which is $1,000 less than the base petrol Prius model…of which Toyota historically sells anywhere from 7,000 to 10,000 a month of those.”
Unless you don’t get the tax credit, or require 3 seats in the back, it makes no sense to buy a regular Prius over the new PIP.

It’s Time to start looking past the tax credit!!

How so?

It’s reported more than 50% of EV “buyers” lease so the leasing numbers are fairly important; I haven’t yet heard what they are but odds most the tax credits will be offered as an incentive to the buyer…

I have been with Toyota 19 years. My wife and I leased a 2006 Highlander Hybrid expecting a tax credit. At the end of the year the irs determined that leases do not qualify for a tax credit. I had to explain this to my wife, my clients who leased, I was never so disappointed. Had nothing to do with Toyota, it was the government.


What does Toyota say about production capacity in 2017?

And any plans to make it over here in the US?

I think sales-#-wise, capacity might be a limitation you’re not accounting for. For some reason I’m not seeing Toyota ramping up straightaway to a capacity that’s even ~50% of its total Prius volume.

But hopefully I’m wrong… it’s a decent PHEV; about time for Toyota to put one out.

I think this new Prius model could easily sell 2000 to 3000 a month. The thing I’m worried about is that the car dealerships are not going to carry them or the supply will be very limited though.

If I was the ruler of Toyota I would phase out all of the gas only powered Prius and make all of them plug ins. I would also upgrade the range on them to 60 to 100 miles a charge to take a shock at GM by offering Chamo plugs on them.

Plug in Prius drivers; please don’t waste the limited L2 public charging infrastructure!

It’s really a shame that all plug in hybrids don’t have at least 6 KW charging capabilities.

With the stock safety suite (active cruise, collision braking standard) and even more available, this is an impressive price point. Toyota quality and reliability are among the best in the industry. Certainly better than Tesla and probably better than the Bolt/Volt. Many reviewers loved the 11 inch screen. HUD also available. Full LED headlights standard. Going to check into one of these very soon to replace my father’s 2011 Prius.

Prius reliability has been better than the Volt, no doubt about it.

The gap in 2016 was enormous as the Volt fell down to ‘poor’ reliability while the Prius was ‘excellent’. In fact Prius has been rated ‘excellent’ reliability every single year that Consumer Reports got enough responses on it’s survey to rate it, while Volt at best was rated ‘good’ – two notches below the Prius.

LOL @ referencing CR, but since you did, you might want to read their article on how the PiP was unreliable.

Meanwhile, I’ll keep driving my rock-solid Volt, TYVM.

Not sure why you LOL at referencing the most biggest and most comprehensive publicly available used car reliability survey. I’ve spent the last 30+ minutes looking for any article by CR saying how unreliable the Plug-in Prius was. I didn’t find any such article on their site. Unfortunately their used-car ratings of the Prius don’t break out the Plug-in model. I did find some 3rd party references to the results of the 2013 survey results that found the Plug-in was Toyota’s lowest rated car that year and it received a ‘worse than average’ rating, which is equivalent to ‘fair’ under their current terminology. I found no third party references to reliability ratings for other years, so I guess they didn’t get enough responses to break it out in other years. CR did buy and review a Plug-in Prius. They weren’t impressed and said the extra cost wasn’t worth it for the anemic electric performance. CR is giving the Prime a projected reliability of ‘better than average’, though that’s pretty much a guess based on Toyota’s and the Prius’s history. I found third party references to their projected reliability of the Plug-in back in 2012 before they had data and they… Read more »

I don’t know what “most biggest” is, but you sound like a used car salesman, pushing a magazine.

Thanks for reading and for your feedback!

I think ‘most biggest’ is self explanatory. 😉

Anybody know how many cumulative total miles globally (or US only) have been driven by all Prius cars? Then we could calculate how many gallons of gasoline have been saved.

Say 20 mpg for a “normal” car and 40 mpg for a Prius. Then a rough swag would be total Prius miles / 20 mpg = gallons saved by the Prius family.

I did a quick search and couldn’t find the number. Tesla boasts about total Tesla miles driven all the time, so we could make a rough comparison if we had the Prius numbers.

By all prius cars, I mean from Gen I to the present, but some of those early years could probably be ignored compared to today’s numbers – just to make the swag easier.

I don’t know, but it’s a huge number. There’ve been over 9 million Priuses sold, and they’ve been a high volume car since 2005.

I’ve shopped for used Priuses in the last year and there are tons of them out there with 100-200,000 miles and more.

I briefly looked for an estimate of total miles, didn’t see anything, but did see this story about a Prius taxi with over 600,000 miles and still going strong. It mentions another Prius that had over 500,000 miles before it was wrecked.

Hybrids have floated around 3-4% of total sales for the last 8 years. Assume half of those are priuses. With half gas savings, about 1% of total passenger car consumption.

Rough numbers then ~6 million prius family (3.7 liftback + ~2 million other prius versions). Give them all 100,000 miles – ok, big swag, but what the heck. That gets us 600 billion miles. At a delta of 20 mpg, we get 30 billion gallons save ~ 1 billion barrel of gasoline. The US consumes about 7 billion barrels of oil per year (a barrel = 20 gallons of gas, 12 diesel fuel and 4 of jet fuel). So the worldwide cumulative use of the Prius saves about 15% of one years worth of US oil usage.

Moral of the story? The Prius can’t do it alone, but has made a pretty good start.

Tesla have driven nearly 1 billion miles.

Compare that to the estimated 600 billion miles for the prius over its lifetime.

Moral of the story? We need Tesla’s Model 3 and the Bolt to sell really well to start chipping into that oil usage.

Is it plug-in toilet?

It would be a sad state of affairs if a PHEV with the wholly inadequate range of only 25 miles becomes the best-selling PEV (Plug-in EV) in North America. But yeah. Not only could it possibly happen, it probably will.

And sadly, if it does, then Toyota will take the wrong lesson. They will see it as a vindication of their corporate strategy of denigrating BEVs, and refusing to develop a compelling, long-range PEV. 🙁

Very true but the good part is they will probably sell to people who would not buy BEVs otherwise…
The bad part is the Prius will probably realy hurt Fords plug in hybrid sales…
Heres hoping their 4 employes working on their BEV program are actualy managers in charge of hundereds or thousands and simply have the ultimate decision making authority…

I think your first “BEV” was probably meant as PEV.
Claiming you are making a fully-electric BEV is the new, green salad everyone is selling, but the reality is that the market comes to your fast food joint to buy greasy french fries and not the salad. Until you start selling only BEVs you haven’t made a statement about your commitment to the environment, you’ve offered an Al-a-carte item not available at all locations. Is Burger King going to only sell vegetarian hamburgers suddenly? No. And until the American public stops buying their meals at fast food joints for what tastes good and is convenience in a happy sack, the individual virtue required to accomplish an EV-driving paradigm shift will creep along at a generational pace.

Hopefully those PP drivers will get a taste of EV driving, and buy a real one next time.

Several things to like here for the price: Almost 9 kwh battery is now in the useable range, unlike the almost joke PIP. Huge (for Toyota) 3300 watt charger means that the public docking stations will at least be doing something with the prius’s. Tax credit isn’t huge, but then more cash strapped families will fully qualify for it. (I personally hope a lot of 16 amp docking stations will start appearing – one computer store just installed a clipper creek 20 amp unit to give passer’s by a 4.16 kw charging experience which is fine for most PHEVs.) They couldn’t see paying a ‘charging network’s outrageous rental fees. AT the fancy furniture store (ITEC? I forget their exact name) in Burlington, Ontario – a big deal was made of 2 sun country 48 amp units. I would have much rather seen 6 16 amp units since that way many more cars could plug in since the parking lot is huge. Most Canadian charging locations are 80 amps. Even the new Teslas can only do 72 now, with the option. Its uncanny that on my side of the border we have NO docking stations above 30 amps except for one… Read more »

Please express power in KW because Amps don’t mean anything if there is no mention of voltage and number of phases. 16 Amp for me means 11 KW and 80 Amps means 55 KW. 16×1,732×400 and 80×1,732×400. Just for clarity.

Canada and Syracuse are quite obviously North American Locations.

Even though Canada has standardized on 347Y/600, utilization voltages are 120Y/208, at least as far as most car charging is concerned. – just for clarity. Tesla Supercharges (and the rare Destination ‘Charger’) run on 277. – even the Canadian Superchargers. They can also run on 208 or 240 – but I haven’t seen anyone talk about one wired up that way yet – perhaps the portable ones.

The type 1 J1772 is a single phase (208) standard, as far as most North American docking stations are concerned. Rarely they may also be 240. If it is close to the electric service that is, those are the numbers that will be found. But occassionally you find 191 and you just live with it..

When I talk about European issues I assume 230Y/400 in much of Europe, and in general 230 VOlts single-phase irrespective of whatever facilities British utilities actually use to energize the smaller homes – I’ve been advised many are 80 amperes capacity. German homes I’ve been advised are usually 40 amps, 230Y/400 amoungst at least the smaller ones.

Thanks, that is outstandingly clear.

In Europe there is also a lot of triangle 230 V, which is sometimes a problem for charging because there is no neutral.

In both the states and Canada (because it was American subsidiaries setting distribution up) we used to often have what you describe – calling it “grounded B” , or “Corner-Grounded (earthed)” Delta connection. Its advantage was only needing 2 fuses, and using basically all 2 wire distribution equipment for 3-phase. It fell out of favor here due to strictly being a ‘power’ service – no lighting. Utilities used to be interested in selling electricity, but now they only want combined light and power services to save money – some utilities offering it using only 2 single phase transformers in a VEE connection. I always smile when I see huge restaurants running off of a 167 KVA and 100 KVA pole tranformers – both single phase (main and teaser). – and the pair is fed by only 2 medium voltage wires – and the earthed wire. But I mention that only to showcase how far minimizing utility expense has gone – nothing to do with the ‘grounded “B” ‘ stuff here. But most wall boxes would work with this as long as only 2 of the 3 phases were used – the ones that were ‘adjacent to earth’. New electricians were… Read more »

“Oh yeah? Why is exactly 1/2 of the wiring in your automobile the car chassis?”

Haha! I love it.

240V J1772 isn’t that rare. It’s what most people have in their home garages.

But on the go 208V is of course the norm.

Given how much people charge at home, its possible that over half of EV miles driven are off 240V J1772.

Or are you saying that 240V/0V J1772 is rare in the US? In homes of course it would be 120V split phase for an RMS potential of 240V.

The biggest problem with Prius prime is not the ugliness. For heaven’s sake, this thing takes over 11 seconds to reach 60 miles/hr! How much time do some folks have to waste to crawl at that speed??

Yup. The disadvantages of small battery packs in PEVs (Plug-in EVs) are many. Inadequate power, and hence weak acceleration, is one such weakness.

Another Euro point of view

“this thing takes over 11 seconds to reach 60 miles/hr!”.
I also see this as a problem. As much as I have no use for Tesla style 0-60, 11 seconds is just too slow in 2016. Now I don’t really know who are the Prius buyers. Maybe they couldn’t care less.

Who cares. Prius buyers are mainstream people, not some car fans with nothing else to do in their lives but look for some weird specs like 0-60 times as if they are going into street race :/

Last time I have asked one new Prius buyer how is the car, he told that it is ok – you turn wheel, and it turns :/ What else do you need?

Lack of power is one thing but for families lack of 5 seats is the big show breaker. Even if I wanted, I could not use the Prime because I have 3 kids. So if I wanted a PHEV the Prime, the Volt and the BMW i3 rex would not be possible. The Ford Fusion PHEV, the Kia Optima PHEV and the Hyndai Ionic PHEV would be possible but they have a lack of ev range which makes even return commute impossible in ev mode. That is why the Model 3 is a better option, seating five, return commute feasible and superchargers allowing longer trips.

Yep, a big selling point for the Prius has always been it’s utility and good space.

They’ve probably cut the prospective audience in 1/2 or 1/4 by giving it only 4 seats.

Any family with even 2 kids will probably want that 5th seat for the flexibility of carrying a kids friend.

11 seconds to 60 mph is mostly a non-issue for this class of car. My ’15 Corolla is rated at 9.5 secs to 60, and it’s plenty fast to pass and use freeway entrance ramps without pushing it hard. (It’s crazy to floor it and use your redline limiter to protect your car, unless you love major car repairs. How many people typically drive like that?)

People want a car like this for efficiency, not to play racecar driver.

I think this kind of complaint is for people who lack meaningful reasons not to buy such cars.

People talk about “traditional Prius customers”, but this is 2016, not 2005. The people who were interested in the Prius (either for conspicuous conservation or real environmentalism — it doesn’t matter) are at this point interested in EVs. There’s nothing magic about hybrids — many carmakers have them — or the Prius specifically.

Now there may be a specific brand advantage, because Toyota has an excellent reputation for reliable cars, and people might consider a Toyota who wouldn’t have an American, German or Korean car.

Prius sales are down the last couple years, since gas has been cheap. But still there’s been over 100,000 Prius family cars sold in the US so far this year, with the big majority of those being the regular hatchback that the Prime is based on.

Since the Prime will be the cheapest one to buy after rebate, there is indeed a substantial Prius customer base out there that might buy it.

Too bad they made it a 4 seater. That’s going to cost them some sales.

“Too bad they made it a 4 seater. That’s going to cost them some sales.”
There is some interview with Toyota people about it. 4 seater is a choice forced by laws of physics. LiIon battery specific energy isn’t that great yet, so they had choice either make it 4 seater, or rework whole structure to support additional weight, which is not that simple and would raise price tag. They chose 4 seater for year 2017 and may change to 5 seater later if it will be reasonable.

People thought that with the Gen 1 Volt, but one of its main detractors ended up being that it had only 4 seats. With the Gen 2 Volt having seating for “5” (not to mention far more all electric range and far better acceleration) it will be interesting to see how the sales compare.

To be fair, Volt v.2 seats 4 1/2. I’m 6’1″ and I wouldn’t ride in the back seat over 10 minutes unless forced at gunpoint.

GM hobbled Volt by not simply building a Cruze (same platform) with the Volt T pack. Volt is cool because it has the “4 door coupe” thing going on. It’s sleek and aero, a good commuter car for one driver and one passenger. It is, however, highly limited by its form factor.

It’s OK though, because current think at legacy carmakers is that these compliance machines are loss leaders of sorts. Banish the thought of aggressive TV ad campaigns or it catching fire saleswise forcing them to mass produced them.

Whoa… is the front of that car missing pieces?! It looks awful.

I thought there couldn’t be an uglier car than the Mirai…until I saw the new Prius. Is toyota trying to kill their alternative fuel vehicles by making them so ugly that no one will take a second look? The old Prius was decent looking, and didn’t stand out as being wacky, but the new Prius looks fragile and tinier than its predecessor. Yuck.

Well, one may question Toyota’s motives, but they definitely have the technology and the resources. You have to realize the Murai is just as technologically advanced as any Tesla. Toyota did the joint venture pure BEV Rav4 with dismal sales. So you can’t blame the for doing what is proven to make money. The price to features ratio of the Prime is definitely compelling. I know the Bolt/Volt are more expensive but do they even offer lane assist, active cruise, head up display on the same car?

I don’t question their motives: I assume Toyota is out to make money selling cars, just like pretty much every other automaker out there, though Tesla admittedly has more of a mission.

I am really not sure what is wrong with the majority of the commenters here. This is a nice car for not much money with a plug. This car is less than half the price of a tesla and $10k less than a bolt so comparisons to the prime those cars are totally meaningless. Even the volt is quite a bit more expensive and even if it wasn’t people might just want something different. The battery is smaller than other vehicles but if you use public chargers and or can charge at work you could easily eliminate 50% of your petrol miles. The rest of the miles won’t exactly be in a gas guzzler either. I also don’t get why people are worried about them hogging public L2 chargers, we will only ever see expansion of L2 networks if they are used.

I don’t get it either.

Another high volume plug-in is now selling in the US. Great news!

I think everyone still has a bad taste in their mouth regarding Toyota and their anti-EV stance.

I’m guessing they will be losing money on this car, like the Mirai, so it will be interesting to see how much they push sales.

I doubt they’ll be losing money on the Prime. It is priced about $3,500 above the base Prius. Most of the extra cost is in the battery pack, and I’d say that Toyota probably gets some of the best prices in the business due to their long and close relationship with Panasonic. Ballpark $190/kwh for pack costs, what Tesla claimed earlier this year, that means the Prime’s pack costs about $1,700. That leaves another $1,800 for beefed up electric motor, controller, etc … compared to the Prius and they would be making the same profit on the base Prime as on the base Prius.

The cost to build a car is more than the sum of its parts.

According to Toyota executives, they intend the Prime to be a mass market car, and as such I doubt they intend to lose money on it.

Sure it will likely take a little while to overcome the upfront cost of developing and bringing it to market, but that’s true of any new car, and the Prime is an investment not only in future profits from the Prime itself but also in moving Toyota forward on the path to greater electrification.

It’s obviously nothing like the Mirai … Jay says they are starting up the Prime production line with a build rate of about 1200/week, which is ballpark the fastest build-rate of any plug-in vehicle so far.

I agree 100%. We need more utilization of the chargers in order to grow the market and see more chargers installed!

As for the range, I could easily live a life of 99.5% EV usage in this car. I still like my Volt better for a variety of reasons, but if the Volt didn’t exist, this car might be one I would consider.

I wouldn’t plug in if I have PH since public charging cost more than gas. That goes for all EV that has less than 6.6 kW L2 without DCFC. Yes, even SparkEV without DCFC is wasting money using public L2. With Pruis (52 MPG), you’d be paying over double what you’d pay by running on gas ($2.50/gal) by using public L2 (~$0.35/kWh). See the tables here.

That’s why Prius will be bad for public charging. It won’t increase the demand, but it will make difficult for people who use public chargers, especially when Prius take up DCFC spot which they often do. I have yet to see any Prius actually using the charger, but I have seen many that block others (ie, parked not charging).

Thanks for your commentary regards WHY you like your Chevy Volt more. I am stuck. I have test driven the Volt, but have a 2007 Prius which gave me nearly 100,000 problem free driving. Volt vs prime?

Well, since you asked.. the Volt is MUCH faster than the Prius Prime, both in EV mode and in gasoline mode. Then there is the obvious issue that the Volt is rated at 53 miles in EV, versus 25 for the Prius Prime. And the last two things are just personal opinions but I like the external appearance better on the Volt, as well as the instrument panel design. Sorry, I’ve never been a fan of center mounted instruments. That’s actually something I dislike about the Tesla Model 3 as well.

Just_Chris “The battery is smaller than other vehicles but if you use public chargers and or can charge at work you could easily eliminate 50% of your petrol miles.” That is simply not realistic. The fleet average for Volts is currently 67.7% EV miles, according to: With less than half the EV range, the Prius Prime certainly isn’t going to get a fleet average of 50% EV miles or more. In fact, I strongly doubt that you could drive this car any significant distance without the gas motor kicking in. The Volt is a true switch-hitter, able to accelerate just as well in EV mode as in gas-powered mode. But cars with smaller battery packs, such as this one, simply can’t get enough power from the battery pack for strong acceleration. So every time you speed away from a stop sign or stop light, or accelerate up to highway speed in the on-ramp to a freeway, or maintain speed going up a hill, this car will likely be burning gas. * * * * * At least part of the negative attitude toward this Toyota car is a reflection of Toyota’s hostility toward pure electric cars. Their recalcitrant attitude… Read more »

Most of that Volt fleet average of 68% EV% was racked up on Gen 1 Volts with EPA range of 35 or 38 EV miles. The Prime offers 71% or 66% of that range.

I think it’s feasible that the Prime will get fleet average about 50% EV%. Probably a little lower.

Certainly there will be plenty of individuals who score way better then 50%.

You do realize this is Toyota we are talking about, the company that sold hybrids in 1997. We are now 2016 and they basically still are at the same position as back then. To me that is more than a disappointment it is a 180º turn away from going forward. By now Toyota should have at least had their second decent ev range PHEV on the market. Even better they should have placed a direct piston generator to produce auxiliary power in a pure serial electric vehicle with at least 100 miles of ev range. They still have their direct free piston generator and a 100 mile ev range battery is a piece of cake now, so they could still do it, but it is not in the Prime. So, whatever Toyota does next will now be late anyway. That is why people are disappointed.

Prius Prime will use its Prius heritage to sell this second generation Prius PHEV, and its lack luster EV range, successfully well into the 2020 model year. Toyota knows its market, and I don’t think Toyota will like leading from behind, when everybody else is nibbling into their cherished hybrid/PHEV market share. Others Manufactures are delivering comparable and better range PHEV EV vehicles with similar value at approximately this Price Point. Now, on the facts of overall initial quality and resale value, it will be hard to wrestle those key market drivers out of Toyotas firm grip.

Here’s to hoping that Tesla has a much better launch with the Model 3, than it did with the Model X. That might be a bit of a shock to the Toyota Prius hybrid market command, that it currently enjoys. I hope Tesla can really pull some of the Loyal Prius Faithful, over onto the “EV Only” side of the fence. It will potentially be a significant disruption and conquest of the biggest manufacturer of ICE vehicles, if and when Tesla can actually deliver.

Good points, except I don’t see a whole heck of a lot of crossover between the Prius Faithful and the Tesla Model 3, mainly just because of price.

Prius 1, Prius 2, no Prius 3 cause disappointed, no Prius 4 cause disappointed, no Prius Prime cause disappointed, reserved a Tesla Model 3 in blind date on 31 April. Well, that looks to me as at least one Prius customer going over to Tesla. Don’t forget that a Prius comes along with a 25000 € gasoline fill over the lifetime of the car in Brussels while a Tesla cost only 5000 € in electricity. So basically a Tesla costing less than 20000 € more then a Prius is actually cheaper. In more, my first motivation in 1997 was tech so I get more of that with Tesla now.

I’m sure you won’t be the only one. 🙂

please tell me one good reason why would anyone get this ugly thing over a new Volt even the 2011 Volt that has way more range than this thing and proven battery tech that doesnt degrade after 300k miles.

Because for the same spec the Toyota is $10k cheaper,

Because you don’t like Chevy dealers,

because you love your Prius, but want a plugin.

Because you were going to buy a reasonably high spec Cruze or focus but for a little more you could get a Prime.

Because your wife prefers the prime.

Because it is your 2nd car and you never drive more than 20 miles.

What ever the reason the important thing is not your opinion but the fact that 1000’s of people love the Toyota Prius and that car is finally offered with a plug again

Those are just silly reasons. The number one reason is to get the cheapest gas burner that you can drive alone in HOV lane as fast as you want by burning more gas.

It burns very little gas compared to other cars even when it does run on gas.

The brand has reputation for reliability (even if you would be ready to argue on factual reliability on particular model, brand reputation is still here), which major or most important feature for some.

It has bells & whistles that are expected in 2017 car, e.g. adoptive cruise control with full stop, lane keep assist, auto high beams, HUD, parking assist, electric power seats and so on. Using the same car by 2 drivers may be a hassle without 2 position power seat/mirror switch. GM can’t do it in Volt/Bolt for some reason as far as I have heard (please correct me if I’m wrong now).

It has the same EV mode as other battery cars up to 84 mph for significant less money.

If this isn’t the #1 plug-in seller in 2017, it is only because Toyota didn’t want it to be. It will most likely be a lack of inventory (like the gen 1 PiP). Hopefully they are serious about knocking out some volume this time around.

Imagine this mailer going out to the 1+ million existing Prius owners…

“Trade your current Pruis in for our latest technology that gets DOUBLE the energy efficiency. Your monthly lease rate will be lower than your current car payment.”

If Toyota converts 5% of owners, it will be the run away best seller. Assuming they pick up zero conquest buyers.

They need to sell it nationwide too. The PiP wasn’t sold everywhere.

Yep, I forgot to add that.

It is ugly, and sales are down -15 with October sales down -43%. But I expect those willing to go ugly already, will just opt for the plug-in, but don’t see it attracting any new customers.

The lightweight and noisy prius is not going to be a first choice for a road trip, so it’s really a commuter car. And now with 100+ and 200+ EVs, there is no need to ‘settle’ for a plug-in hybrid, for a commuter where you can go all electric all the time for the same or less money.

It is not a return commuter car because the ev range is too short for that. One could call it an efficient gasoline car with ev mode capability for through city driving, but that’s it.

Toyota dealers (at least outside of CA) have very little understanding of EVs/PHEVs. Local dealer insisted to a potential customer that when leasing she would have to apply for the tax credit herself. No response from the F&I manager to an email sent from the local EAA chapter (whom she had requested info from).
Hopefully they put some effort into dealer education. But since they have been so publicly anti-EV, it will likely be a long process.

Андрей Сидин

From a battery production constraints perspective, it’s better to have 6 Priuses than 1 Bolt on the road.

Screw that I will take 1 Leaf any-day.

85 miles on a charge? Not for

There is no battery production constrain, only a price per KWh question, but that is going down each year.

Note that with such a flew logic of “battery production constrain”, one could even say that it is better to have 6 Hummer than a Prius on the road. So there is clearly something wrong with that. But from the logic of a “fossil fuel emissions constrain”, there is a clear advantage to move to a Leaf or any other ev rather than a Hummer or even a Prius.

There is NO clear advantage from “fossil fuel emissions constrain” to move to Leaf. It may be some advantage, but far from clear. Prius Eco (there is no Prime data yet) tailpipe AND upstream greenhouse gas emissions: 190 grams/mile. Leaf: 180 grams/mile US average. Add some extra manufacturing emissions for bigger Leaf battery, and marginal advantage completely disappears. Keep in mind that most people would not use Leaf for road trips, they will use some other second gas car, that will have maybe double gas usage over Prius. You need to add manufacturing emissions of the second car if you keep it for the sole purpose of Leaf backup. It may be different in few places in the world that have mostly hydro electric grid like Norway or parts of Canada. But much more places in the world have mostly coal powered grid and it is not changing next year. Going as specific as some “California grid” makes no sense, as individual states are backed up by dispatchable fossil fuel generators in nearby states. Leaf has clear advantage in local emissions, once you go over 25 miles. But again, it turns into disadvantage once reach Leaf range limit and… Read more »

It is not the intent to keep fossil fuel power stations and even so the argument has already been debated and clearly shows that an ev with coal electricity is still better than a gasoline car, especially for Alberta oil sands originating gasoline by the way, just to take a worse case example like you do.

I never disputed that there are different cases, on the the contrary, I have only disputed “clear advantage” claim for Prius vs Leaf in particular. It varies. Even though averages are available, e.g. for US electric grid and for gasoline production as used by DOE/EPA on site.

Congrats Toyota, it is finally on the right path.

The looks – if you have been in Japan recently, you will understand it represents a modern futuristic look which we should congratulate Toyota for the risk taking.
As they could have gone for North American bland look, so it is a start on both counts in the right direction.

My main reason for the angst against Toyota is how much better this car could have been. We have shopped Prui for my wife and almost got one. She needs a new car and I can’t even walk into a Toyota showroom for this. 4 seats? WHY?!? That ugliness – argh – she doesn’t care but I can’t do it. And she drives a Leaf now….

But an impressive feature set for an EV at that cost. Make it a 16 kw battery, make it look reasonable and add a seat (and some volume) and you can sell twice as many. Looking at their costs, the battery has to be free. They price it as free.

This one is not compelling enough to take away the better choice of a real EV but it is cheap and that is worth a lot.

From consumer point of view, Prius Prime is a great car.

1. You get to drive solo in carpool lane as long as you want and as fast as you want. You don’t have to worry about running out of battery.

2. You get to park in EV charging spot without getting hassled. You simply plug-in but don’t initiate charging, thus avoiding paying for high priced public charging.

3. It’s the cheapest cost car in the world to be able to do above 2. If you want to game the system at lowest cost, Prius Prime is the perfect car.

Their of lots of Prius cool aid drinkers out there that will likely buy one. Also people that will never plug it in and use it as a cheap way to get into the carpool lane. No rear wiper sucks for places that get rain and snow. Basically a more efficient version of a 2013 Ford C-max energi. I would go with a faster funner Volt with twice the EV range. I hear they come with a paper bag that fits over you head so nobody can see its you driving that ugly car.

Sour grapes!!!!

Reality Check!

From an environment standpoint the old Prius plug in was no better than a non-plug in Prius because most of them never where plugged in. Because of the pricing of the new Prius Prime I expect the same results. I worked at a Toyota dealer north of the Bay Area and asked every plug in Prius driver if and when they every plugged in their car. Very few ever said they plugged it in at all. Most all were renters.

This is not the case with Volts or LEAFS/Teslas/ other BEVs. They actually get plugged in. In the case of the BEVs you have to, in the case of the Volts you paid for that big battery and are going to use it whenever possible.

Called Miller Toyota (Anaheim) last night. Asked them if their payment lease calculator on the Internet included the $4500 Federal credit. The salesman didn’t know what I was talking about. Said that is something you do on your taxes and depends on whether you have tax liability at the end of the year.

25 miles almost gets me to the gas station.

C’mon man! It WILL be the most popular plug-in if you’re counting the number of times you have to plug it in.

Santa Roy Allen Clark

I just bought a Prius I wanted a Tesla and went and test drive the mod X but was not impressed enough to take the 280000 price so I waited for the mod M I like some of the Prius Prim but don’t under stand some of Totoya thinking if the prim has 2 electric motors why is it not a all wheel drive and why stop at 28 mile range wend 50 be much better

Well, it would take some explaining as to the two electric motors. Most hybrids have two, since you need one to work as a generator when the engine is running. But there are other reasons too. But suffice it to say both motors work on the front wheels. So no AWD. However, I believe the Prius is offered as an AWD in Japan, with an extra motor on the rear wheels. Not sure about the Prime, though.

As for why stopping at 28 miles? Actually, I think you mean 25 miles. Anyway, they simply had to make a compromise about how much interior space they were willing to sacrifice and how much extra cost there would be for the battery. It really makes you appreciate how well GM managed to squeeze a 53-mile battery into the Volt, using the T-shaped battery.

25 miles is a good range for a plug-in hybrid. Sure, it is half of the Volt’s range. But compared to most other plug-in-hybrids, the Prime actually beats most.

Thanks for the insight I’m a retired Railroad Electrician and have work and troubleshoot Loco for over 40+ years we had dynamic braking back in the mid 50’s but just turn the current produce into heat so I understand some about DC and AC motors but I’m sure there much more that I don’t understand

Yes, there is AWD option in Japan, as well as tow hook.

I read somewhere that the Prius can tow about 1600 lbs.

280000? What currency unit are you using?

The new definition of ugly and poor all electric range.
The 2016 Volt is the clear PHEV winner.


The one problem I have is the low electric range… and the lower roof over back seat…

Everyone says the 2012 PiP battery was a joke. Surprisingly, we have 33% of our 50,000 miles on it from EV driving.

I agree I want more EV range, but that 12 miles of EV really nips a lot of gas from those 2 or 3 mile local shopping trips.

So no joke, but huge surprise to users, but not to Toyota engineers.

After 5 Priuses, I switched to a Tesla model S. Once you get some EV capability, you just crave more and more.

No level 3, no purchase. Same with Volt.

Not going to sit there for hours on level 2.

Can’t charge at apartment.

If you can’t charge at home or work, electric cars don’t make sense for you yet, whatever charging level. Just too slow and expensive to charge. Except for fuel cell electric cars.

Once again Big Oil/Fool Cell shill zzzzz has left out the MAJOR problem (other then the horrendous efficiency of H2 because of the unchangeable physics) with fool cell cars-NO PLACE TO CHARGE for apartment dwellers or pretty much anyone else for that matter.

So rather then shill here on IEVs zzzzz, why don’t you complain to your Big Oil corporate overlords to start building H2 stations across the country????

Meanwhile last time I checked electricity is EVERYWHERE already.

Most of charging should be done at home. If sometime in the future, 50% of cars are EV, I also can’t see half of the cars at a company parking lot plugged into chargers. Home is the most convenient place to charge.

Perhaps apartment complexes will have to offer plug-in capabilities with the parking they provide to renters. Blink and such charge way too much in my opinion.

Once you own a car that needs charging, you get a better feel for how you want to charge.

Sadly, the Prius Prime has a decent shot of being #1 in plug-in sales next year….if Toyota wants to sell that many.

The Prime must be available in more states than just California. Afterall, no supply = no sales.

Has anyone found the in-roof solar details or availability in the P-Prime? Looking at the Toyota website it does not appear to be present.