FWIW, it's part of Toyota's ZEV compliance efforts (http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=6853
" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;) as the PiP is an enhAT-PZEV. Cars like the 04+ Prius, Prius v wagon, Camry Hybrid, etc. are AT-PZEV and also help.
It qualifies for CA green HOV stickers (http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/carpool/carpool.htm
" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;) and despite selling in a very limited of states, still has a decent position in terms of US plug-in sales (http://www.hybridcars.com/august-2013-dashboard/
" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;).
It also seats 5 (vs. 4 of the Volt), doesn't lose much cargo space vs. the regular Prius (just the part above the spare tire and below the rear cargo floor/shelf), doesn't require premium (unlike the Volt), gets 50 mpg combined (vs. 37 mpg combined of the Volt), is cheaper than the Volt, and is still classified as a midsize car vs. the compact Volt.
But, yes, its EV range is very limited and it has limitations in terms of acceleration and max speed before the ICE kicks in.