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Toyota Predicts 16,000 Prius Plug-in Sales

The Prius Plug-in, Prius c concept and Prius v join the fuel-sipping 2011 Prius.

Toyota has high expectations for the 2012 Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle (PHV), and expects to sell at least 16,000 models after the highly-anticipated addition to the Prius family debuts in 2012, reports the Detroit Free Press.

The publication spoke with Toyota Spokesman John Hanson, who did not mention concerns about the affects the March 2011 tsunami and earthquake had on Toyota’s vehicle supply. “We think it's going to be a strong seller, and we'll deliver to whatever level the market wants," Hanson said. "We're certainly on line to sell 16,000 to 17,000 in 2012.”

If Toyota’s predictions are correct, Left Lane News says sales for the Prius Plug-in will surpass the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf. “By comparison, Chevrolet’s Volt is on pace to sell a little over 5,000 units in 2011, although the numbers have been skewed by a temporary interruption in production,” Left Lane News reports. “Although less similar in design to the Prius PHV (Prius Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle), the Nissan Leaf is on pace to sell approximately 8,000 vehicles in 2011.”

Shoppers who like the Volt or Leaf, but can’t stomach their high price tags, and dislike the Leaf’s short range and poor charging infrastructure, will like the Prius Plug-in because charging should be an easier process. Toyota says owners can plug it into a standard 120-volt outlet for three hours, and when the charge depletes, the vehicle switches to hybrid mode. Toyota predicts that the Prius Plug-in can travel 13 miles on electricity and up to 475 with hybrid technology.

When the Prius Plug-in hits the market in the spring of 2012, it will be available in 15 states: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington. To get on the waiting list, use Toyota’s online order system

The Prius Plug-in is just one of several additions to the Prius family. The Prius v is a midsize-hybrid-electric vehicle. Toyota says the v will have 50 percent more cargo room than the current Prius, making it a practical car for families. The Prius c concept is expected to hit the market in early 2012, and will be the least expensive and smallest Prius.

Shopping for an electric or hybrid car? Check out the U.S. News rankings of this year's best cars. Then, look for a great deal on a new car by checking out this month’s best car deals. Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter.

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