Plug-in Prius Prime not coming to Canada – yet!

Toyota is waiting on pending legislation in Quebec before introducing the Prime

Published: October 3, 2016, 11:00 PM
Updated: October 7, 2016, 5:44 AM

2017 Toyota Prius Prime

The Prius Prime will be introduced into the American market this month but Canadians will have to wait until the spring of 2017 – at least.

The holdup? Pending legislation in Quebec.

Toyota Canada wants to wait until legislation in that province clearly lays out what measures it will take regarding zero-emission and hybrid vehicles. The proposals call for a system of carbon credits. Starting with 2018 models, automakers will have to meet Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) targets with sales transposed into credits.

2017 Toyota Prius Prime

“The target for each manufacturer will be calculated by applying a percentage of the total number of light vehicles it sells in Québec. The credit requirement will therefore vary from one manufacturer to another. Every sale or lease of a ZEV recognized by the Minister will earn the manufacturer a number of credits based on the vehicle’s electric range. The greater the range, the greater the number of credits earned by the manufacturer, which in turn reduces the number of ZEV sales it needs in order to reach its target,” the government says

The draft bill was tabled in the National Assembly in June. Interest groups were invited to comment and consultations conducted in August. “The bill and regulatory adoption process will follow, and manufacturers may be required to report vehicle sales as of June 2017.”

So what has that to do with the introduction of the 2017 Prius Prime? Quebec says “automakers will be able to accumulate credits for 2016 and 2017 model-year vehicles, and use these credits for compliance purposes in subsequent years.”

Toyota is holding off on bringing its most efficient hybrid to Canada until the details of that bill are spelled out and it is passed.

“It is very important to understand the application of rules when you set your marketing plans,” a Toyota spokesperson explained, “so we believe it is prudent to have a short delay followed by a strong launch.”