Back on Earth Day, Toyota opened up its U.S. reservation books for the Prius Plug-in Hybrid. Even though the first examples of the Prius Plug-In – which starts at $32,000 – will be available in select U.S. markets in the spring, the car won't be obtainable nationwide until early 2013. The car goes on sale in Europe starting next summer.

Things are operating on a different timetable over in Japan, where Toyota announced just before the Toyota Motor Show that orders are now being taken for the plug-in Prius. The cost is 3.2 million yen ($41,094 U.S. at today's exchange rates) before government subsidies that drop the cost to 2.75 million yen ($35,315). Deliveries are scheduled to start at the end of January.

Globally, Toyota hopes to sell 60,000 Prius Plug-Ins a year. That number includes 35,000-40,000 in Japan and 16,000 in the U.S. Toyota sold around 141,000 standard Prius hybrids in 2010 in the U.S.