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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
2020 Plug-In Hybrid? Update - Not happening

I seriously doubt this but looking at some spy shots of the testing of the 2020 Highlander I noticed this:

Top photo attached shows gas filler at same location as current model - on the driver's side which would make sense to keep in the same location.

Bottom photo shows a patch covering something at the same location on the passenger's side which is what some plug-in hybrids usually have - charging port on opposite side as gas filler.

Just a theory but what else would they be covering?
 

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Normal tank filler cap for different country. You have 2 traffic directions in the world - left and right hand. Japan is left hand, US is right hand. Accordingly, 2nd gen CR-V had tailgate opening for the left hand driving, rather unpractical for the US traffic.
It can be as simple as filler neck positioning based on driver location in the vehicle.
As much a theory as yours.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
As I mentioned I doubt this will be the case as they just released the 2019 RAV4 Hybrid and they didn't do a plug-in update for that. Both are similar with the i-AWD plus plug-in's usually also need an electrical heating system so they operate during cold weather in EV mode only for a 20/30 mile range. That would require a much more complicated HAVC system especially given the front/rear systems in the Highlander.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Perhaps my theory has some validity to it as a possible Plug-In Hybrid is mentioned in this YouTube video by Motor TV about the Toyota 2020 teaser - at 3:17.

 

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Discussion Starter #9
I posted this six months ago but learned that it was not to be when the 2020 HH was introduced at the NY Auto Show. At that time I suspected there might be a plug-in version as the test mule had an opening where there might be a plug-in port.

Well I haven't given up hope that there might be one in the future - maybe 2021 - as today Toyota introduced the plug-in version for the RAV4. Both the 2020 Highlander and 2021 RAV4 have very similar drive trains with the 2.5 engine.

https://pressroom.toyota.com/2021-rav4-plug-in-powers-up-for-2019-los-angeles-auto-show/
 
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