The Toyota Prius is a fantastic car, which is driven by thousands of people across the world. It is one of the very first true hybrid cars to have been launched commercially across the globe.
A Brief History of the Toyota Prius
The first Toyota Prius was launched in 1997. It had appeared in 1995 as a concept car at the Tokyo motor show. Interest was so great that Toyota took the unusual step of developing and launching the car onto the general market in just two years. It was an almost instant hit. The original model the XW 10 continued to be made until 2003. In 2003, the XW 20 was introduced. That was replaced, in 2009, by the XW30, which is still in production today.
Each new release of this innovative vehicle heralded steps forward in hybrid electric engine design. Some of the biggest steps forward were made in battery a technology. Today’s Priuses requires fewer batteries and can go further on a single charge than the early versions did. In addition, charging them is far quicker than it once was. These steps forward were important to ensure that the car was economically viable and could compete successfully with standard vehicles.
The Modern Toyota Prius
By 2008, over 1,000,000 have been sold across the globe. They are currently available in 70 countries; however, the vast majority of them are still sold in the USA, Japan and Europe. Nearly 20% of all Priuses sold in Europe are sold in the UK. The relatively high cost of fuel in the UK is part of the reason that this is the case. In 2009, the Prius became the bestselling vehicle in Japan. Sales worldwide were given a boost during the first quarter of 2011 when the cost of oil soared. Unfortunately, the 2011 To-hoku earthquake and tsunami led to production of the Toyota Prius ceasing completely for several days. The factory got working again fairly quickly, but a shortage of spare parts meant that production of this very popular vehicle had to slow down. Today, the company is once again producing them in large numbers.
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