The fourth-generation Toyota Prius and it’s potential 58 miles per gallon fuel economy isn’t due until later this year at the earliest, and some folks suspect it will be well into next year. But at least you’ll still be able to buy one until it arrives; the same can’t be said for the plug-in Prius – “Pip” to its friends – that will cease production this June. Nathan Kokes, a marketing representative in Toyota’s Advanced Technology division, made the announcement on the forum Prius Chat without giving any reason for the decision.
Inside EVs says there about 1,100 Prius PHVs in stock at dealers, which would last for just under three months at the average sales rate this year. Assuming no changes in production to boost stocks, that would give you until the end of summer to fulfill your first-generation Prius PHV dreams, then there’d be a drought for an unknown length of time. For the conspiracy theorists looking to the sales numbers or the Mirai launch for cause, Kokes did join the chat thread once after the announcement to say that “will have plenty of Prius Plug-in Hybrids to sell long after [June],” and, “production plans and product cadence are in no way timed to any external incentive (i.e., CA HOV sticker), competitive product or the upcoming Mirai launch.”
With Toyota having delayed the standard car to get it just right, there’s no telling how long the plug-in version will take since it aims to satisfy high-order customer demands like wireless charging and more electric range, and perhaps the rather long list of “minor” changes that include things like more paint options, HVAC operation, the placement of the charge port, and more driver convenience features.