Unimpressive plug-in Prius results?
In "real world" driving, Toyota plug-in Prius testers are achieving about 65 mpg when driving exactly as they would in a conventional Prius.
According to Bill Reinert, Toyota Motor Sales, the way you drive has a far bigger effect on plug-in hybrids compared to conventional hybrid cars. "That difference is just magnified, supercharged, turbocharged with a plug-in electric because how fast you go really pulls the current out of the battery. It is a big deal."
The 2010 Toyota Prius, on the other hand, is supposed to achieve about 50 mpg in real world driving.
Is such a small gain worth the effort?
Obviously, for those with a soft foot, or those whom drive solely in urban traffic, a plug-in Prius might offer significant gains above 65 mpg. So, pricing will be key.
Still, if the new tax credit for plug-in hybrids makes a plug-in Prius the same prices as a non-plug-in Prius, the plug-in version could be a steal.