2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid approved for California’s carpool lane

Toyota has announced that its new 2012 Prius Plug-in Hybrid has been approved for the State of California’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Program (CVRP) and that buyers of the car will be able to ride solo in California’s carpool lane.

“Designed to promote the use of Zero Emissions Vehicles (ZEV) and related clean vehicle technologies, the CVRP is a consumer incentive made available in addition to the $2,500 Federal Tax credit offered for qualified vehicles (more information available at:http://www.irs.gov/businesses/article/0,,id=219867,00.html),” Toyota said in a statement. “The 2012 Prius Plug-in also offers consumers eligibility for the State of California’s HOV lane sticker.”

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Under the CVRP program, which is founded by California Air Resources Board (ARB), the Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid is eligible for a $1,500 rebate that will be available to consumers on a first come first-sered basis.

Check out more news on the Toyota Prius.

Refresher:  The 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid is powered by the same Hybrid Synergy Drive system used in the regular Prius – a 98-hp 1.8 liter 4-cylinder that runs on the Atkinson cycle and contributes to a maximum 134 total system horsepower. The system uses two electric motors, one 80-hp unit that works to power the  transaxle, and another smaller motor that works as the electric power source for battery regeneration and as a starter for the gas engine. A newly 4.4 kWh lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery pack replaces the standard Prius’ nickel metal hydride (NiMH) battery and fits under the rear cargo floor. Reaching full-charge takes 2.5 to 3.0 hours using a 120v household outlet or 1.5 hours using a 240v outlet. The 2012 Prius Plug-in Hybrid is estimated to average 87 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent) in combined driving and 49 MPG in hybrid mode. Prices start at $32,000.

– By: Omar Rana