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by Jay Traugott
The Crown Prince of Europe's most glamorous locale makes room in his garage for... another Prius.
Prince Albert II, the monarch of Monaco, supposedly has an appreciation for fine cars. But some of his latest moves have us wondering. He inherited a large collection from his late father, but recently auctioned off a huge part of it, ranging from a 1913 Panhard X19 and a rare 1925 Citroen cabriolet to a Fiat 500 and Honda Civic. And now we know what he was making room for in his garage: a Toyota Prius Plug-in hybrid. The first one to be made in Europe, at that.
Currently driving it as part of a two month loan period, the new Plug-in model will replace his current standard Prius hybrid in His Majesty's royal motor pool. At this point you may be asking yourself why on earth the Prince of Monaco would be driving around in a Prius of any type, and the simple answer is that he wants to lead by example. Last February, the Monegasque government launched a new initiative to encourage environmentally friendly vehicles in the small Principality. The government provides subsidies of €5,500 for hybrids and €9,000 for EVs, and has placed 424 free charging stations around the Mediterranean enclave.
The principality is known to racing fans for events like the Monaco Grand Prix, the Monte Carlo Rally and numerous historic racing events. The push for "green" propulsion strikes us as somewhat at odds with that standing, but if there's more gasoline left for racing, that's just fine by us.