CARS.COM — With sales fizzling, two unpopular hybrids will be unplugged for 2018: the Toyota Prius v hybrid and the Ford C-Max hybrid and plug-in. According to Green Car Reports, there will be no model-year 2018 Prius v, the longer, taller, wagon version of the regular Prius. Similarly, Automotive News reports that production of the C-Max Energi plug-in ended in September and will conclude in mid-2018 for the hybrid.
The Prius v has never been a strong seller compared with the regular Prius. It offered slightly more cargo and passenger space than the regular model, but a significantly lower fuel-economy rating — and a significantly higher price. A model from Toyota’s own lineup likely contributed to its demise; sales of the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid are up this year, and even though the model offers slightly less fuel economy than the v, SUVs are much more popular than wagons overall.
Although sales of the Ford C-Max are up slightly this year, it’s the automaker’s lowest-volume vehicle aside from the ultra-limited GT sports car. Ford also lowered the Hybrid’s fuel economy in 2013 after internal testing revealed an error, which likely hasn’t helped its popularity. Instead, the automaker is expanding the availability of its plug-in Ford Fusion, relatedly announcing today that it retooled a version for sale to police and government agencies. The Special Service Plug-In Hybrid Sedan is the automaker’s first plug-in hybrid police vehicle.
Overall, demand for hybrids and EVs is down in this climate of low gas prices, and the current presidential administration’s proposal to get rid of the federal tax credit for EVs will be a further disincentive for car shoppers. The plug-in Ford C-Max Energi is currently eligible for a $4,007 tax credit, which would be eliminated under the House GOP tax bill proposal.
The news isn’t all bad, however. According to Green Car Reports, the Prius v will still be sold in other markets, and Automotive News reports that the gas and diesel versions (which never came to the U.S.) of the C-Max will still be for sale in Europe.
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