With an EPA-approved electric-only range of six miles, and an 11-mile ‘blended’ range (using mostly electric power with a little bit of its gasoline engine thrown in) per charge of its 4.4 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, the 2015 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid is the shortest-range plug-in car you can buy today.
Based on the current generation Toyota Prius liftback, which debuted in 2009 as a 2010 model-year car, the Prius Plug-in Hybrid has been available to buy since 2012, and has totalled just under 70,000 global sales to date. For hardened Prius fans who may be on their second or even third hybrid, the Prius Plug-in has proven itself a logical next-step vehicle. But in recent months, Prius Plug-in Sales have waned as Toyota has focused its attention on hydrogen fuel cell technology and more affordable, longer-range, plug-in models have come to market.
Now, ahead of the launch of its delayed fourth-generation 2016 Toyota Prius hybrid, Toyota has announced that it will end production of the current-generation Prius Plug-in Hybrid this June.
“[I] wanted to give all of you a quick update that the current generation of Prius Plug-in Hybrid will cease production in June,” he wrote in a forum post. “We are hard at work developing the next-generation Prius Plug-in Hybrid and we are looking forward to sharing more details with you as we approach our launch date.”
Toyota has previously confirmed its intent to offer a plug-in hybrid variant of its fourth-generation Toyota Prius liftback with a larger battery pack, longer electric-only range and better fuel economy over the outgoing model year car. But while Toyota had initially hoped to launch its next-generation Prius liftback this spring as a 2016 model year car, it pushed that debut back six months in order to tweak the car’s hybrid drivetrain to offer better fuel economy.
At the time of writing, that delay is still in place, meaning the next-generation Toyota Prius won’t even begin production until December 2015, with the plug-in hybrid variant following almost a year later in October 2016.
This means fans of Toyota’s plug-in hybrid will have an agonising sixteen-month wait for the next-generation plug-in hybrid model to appear.
It also means that come June, the only plug-in Toyota you’ll be able to buy — outside of China, that is — will be old 2015 model-year Prius Plug-in Hybrids languishing in the corner of dealer lots.
Given Toyota has been purposely restricting production of the Prius Plug-in Hybrid for several months — one of the reasons sales have been so low — that particular scenario is unlikely. In fact, only 1,100 plug-in prius models are listed nationwide in Toyota’s inventory. Last month, Toyota logged 473 Prius plug-in sales and has been hovering around the same figure for a few months, which means that all remaining Prius plug-in hybrids will have likely been sold by the time we hit vacation season.
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