When will the Prius Plug In be available nationwide?
May 10, 2013 8:12 PM   Subscribe

The Prius Plug In looks great, and I have been waiting for it to come to Illinois since it was released last year. Toyota's website said for a year that it would be released nationally "in 2013." Recently that has been changed to say "availability in additional states is currently under study." Do any gearheads know what has caused the delay and when (if?) it might become more broadly available? (Bonus question: what is so difficult about releasing it nationwide? Low production? Regulatory issues? It seems like it shouldn't be that hard.)
posted by AgentRocket to Travel & Transportation (3 answers total)
probably 'charging stations' is a limiting factor...was just reading about either the leaf or the tesla (i forget which) and how their 'quick charge' stations were only (just now) available along the Boston-D.C. and L.A.-Vegas corridors...
oooohh wait...another thing. Google 'prius plug-in battery cold'...they've been having trouble with cold weather battery performance...it might actually be your latitude. :/
posted by sexyrobot at 11:42 PM on May 10, 2013

My guess is that it is one of two things:

1- they aren't selling well and Toyota is trying to figure out whether to give up or not.
2- they are selling as fast as they can make them and rolling them out nationwide will just make people hate Toyota for not having stock in the products they want.

The charging station thing shouldn't be an issue, since the Plug In Prius is still a regular hybrid. They don't *need* to be plugged in, they just *can* be.
posted by gjc at 4:12 AM on May 11, 2013

Both this car and the Leaf experienced a slump in sales at the beginning of the year. (For one thing, some incentives given in 2012 expired.)

"Among the many factors cited as reasons for slowing plug-in sales, both Toyota and Nissan point out that it’s not entirely due to lack of demand but problems with supply. In other words, there simply haven’t been that many vehicles available for sale on dealership lots. That tends to hurt sales."

In other words, they probably don't want to roll out nationally until they can make sure that individual dealers will have 2-3 cars in inventory at any given time, at minimum. It's hard to sell cars when buyers can't kick the tires (so to speak).
posted by dhartung at 1:11 AM on May 12, 2013

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