Toyota Launches Online Order System For New Plug-in Prius

by Tiffany Rider, Staff Writer

The auto maker dominating the Southern California market recently announced the first phase of an online order system for its all-new plug-in hybrid vehicle.

Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc., launched http://www.toyota.com/plugin on Earth Day, April 22, providing an online avenue for customers to get priority registration for the Prius Plug-in. The site offers customers first access to the online order system when it becomes available later this year.

The Prius Plug-in Online Ordering system was inspired by the success and positive customer feedback we had to similar online ordering systems for the first two generations of Prius,” Bob Carter, Toyota Division group vice president and general manager, said  in a statement. “We feel the Prius Plug-in target customer will expect a purchase experience that is as advanced and convenient as the product itself. The online ordering system is designed to meet those expectations.”

The new Web-based system allows for online configuration of the customer’s vehicle, selecting a dealership within the 15 launch states (including California) and tracking of the order through the entire process – from production to distribution to delivery. Toyota Prius Plug-in vehicles are scheduled to begin arriving at selected dealers in spring 2012, with a national roll-out set for 2013.

Unlike other electric vehicles on the market – the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf – the plug-in Prius is built with a gas engine alongside an electric motor, which can be charged using a standard 120-volt household socket in about three hours.

The new Prius is estimated run just over 13 miles on electric power. According to the Toyota Web site, “If its charge depletes while you’re driving, the vehicle switches over to full-hybrid mode, operating just like a regular Prius, still giving you outstanding mpg [miles per gallon].”

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