Cars

Prius V Hybrid Not a Plug-in -- Yet

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Toyota will soon launch the Prius V, which is basically a longer Prius with more cargo space. Toyota is also set to start selling a Prius Plug-in Hybrid. So that got the folks at PluginCars.com thinking -- since the cars are so similar, will there be a Prius V plug-in in our future?

"We don't have any plans right now to deliver a plug-in version of the Prius V," said Ron Ishii, Senior Field Engineer for Toyota in an interview with PluginCars.

But don't fret -- it could still happen.

"The engineers and designers don't leave any possibilities out of the equation," Ishii said. "The Prius V packaging is very similar to the Prius on purpose. In the back of the car under the floor where the battery sits, the packaging is almost identical so the larger battery required of the plug-in system could fit there the same as it does in the Prius Plug-in."

Ishii said Toyota is using the Prius Plug-in Hybrid as a research tool. If it is popular, it could spread to more vehicles.

"Hopefully the success of the plug-in Prius will help us move towards the release of a plug-in Prius V," Ed Laroque, National Marketing Manager for Toyota Advanced Technology Vehicles, told PluginCars.

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Toyota said competition could also dictate its plans.

"We have a million U.S. sales of the Prius and we will continue to be the dominant player in that arena," said Laroque. "But with that said we will absolutely be looking at the competition—Honda announced they will be delivering a plug-in hybrid, Ford will be in the mix and the Volt is already out there. If we need to adjust our product strategy to remain on top, and that means we need to add a plug-in Prius V, we will do it."

To read more, go to FutureCars.com