Detroit auto show, NAIAS, North American International Auto Show, Toyota, Prius c, hybrid car, hybrid vehicle, plug-in hybrid, green car, green vehicle, green automotive design, green transportation, alternative transportation

The Prius c has the same basic bits you find in any small Toyota–nothing special here other than a digital nav screen that is necessary to monitor the hybrid system but seems slightly upmarket for such a compact car–but we are excited about the efficiency this new model promises. Toyota told us that the Prius c comes at a $4,000 hybrid premium, which they claim is the smallest in its class for the package delivered. More exciting (and verifiable) is that the Prius c has the shortest charging time of any plug-in hybrid and a 10-15-mile all-electric range before switching to its gas engine/generator. Toyota expects 15,000 of these little guys to sell in the first year, and will be releasing them alongside the short-range iq EV with a 50-mile total range and a second-gen RAV4 EV that will use a Tesla system for upwards of 100 miles of all-electric range. The upshot is that if you have been waiting to buy a hybrid, EV, or plug-in hybrid, this year you will have choices.

+ Toyota