Toyota is planning to make its next-generation Prius hybrid range, which is set to debut in 2014, come with plug-in capability as a standard feature, according to a report in the Nikkei.

The next-gen Prius plug-in variants will be equipped with high-performance lithium ion batteries. Improved performance is driving the move – the current third-gen Prius, led by the XW30, can travel a maximum 38 km per litre, but the fourth-generation offerings are anticipated to be able to cover more than 60 km, including electricity-only mileage.

Though lithium ion batteries are still more expensive than conventional nickel-metal hydride batteries, Toyota is seeking economies of scale through mass production, the report says. And, by further cutting prices of high-performance motors and other core components, the new Prius range is expected to start at around 2.05 million yen, which is what current Prius prices are at.

Plug-in hybrids can be charged with regular household current, so, taking the available charging infrastructure into account, the company is viewing plug-in hybrids as the leading candidate for its next-generation of eco-friendly vehicles. It is set to deploy plug-in tech for its sedans, minivans and other models after first switching over the Prius lineup.