As a quick reminder, the Prius is Toyota’s response to the demand of cutting down on emissions. It has come a long way since its first sale in Japan in 1997 and its international introduction in 2001. These days, Toyota celebrates having sold 1 million of these “cars of the future” in the US. This comes after the March announcement of 3 million Prius cars sold globally.
The overall amount of vehicles sold each year is 28 million, so you cannot be impressed at last month’s performance – yet! Today, environmentally-conscious customers looking for a hybrid car see the Prius as their first choice and 60% of them this year even went ahead and bought it.
The Prius needs less than half of what your usual car guzzles and with gas prices reaching almost $4 in the US (somewhere $7 in the EU) and rising, this is one important factor to be considered. Of course, less gas means fewer emissions: 178 grams of carbon per mile, compared to the 430 grams of an average car. The Prius can go about 50 miles on one gallon of gas.
This is probably why the Prius has excellent “recommendations”: out of the rest of 13 hybrid possibilities, it ranks number 2 in the EPA list of the Most Fuel Efficient Vehicles for the current year. IntelliChoice designated it the Best Overall Value of the Year for a staggering 9 years, while R.L. Polk, the leader in automotive data and marketing solutions, says the Prius can boast about having the highest owner loyalty of any type of mid-size vehicle during 4 of the last 5 years: almost all of the Priuses sold since 2000 are still in use.
Capitalizing on this success, Toyota plans to put a Prius mini-van on the market before the end of 2011, while a Prius compact hybrid vehicle and the Prius Plug-in Hybrid are set to come out at the beginning of 2012. This car definitely has potential!