Hybrid car to most may usually refer to the reknowned Prius of Toyota. Not so fast. Though the introduction of Prius marks a great achievement when it comes to hybrid cars, but it should be noted that the Toyota Prius isn’t the first hybrid car in the market. Honda Insight took the initiative first. But back to Toyota Prius.
The Toyota Prius was first introduced in Japan in 1997 then introduced to the rest of the world in 2001. Though Insight was introduced first, it was this model that was mass produced first. Aside from the fact that the Prius is a hybrid car, what makes the Prius striking is the fact that this vehicle is a highly efficient vehicle- the most efficient among hybrids. To prove the point, the United States Environmental Protection Agency named the 2008 Prius as the most fuel efficient car that is sold in the US market. This citation is not only reserved in US, rather this citation was received by this vehicle in UK as well courtesy of the UK Department for Transport. The department named Prius as the second least CO2 emitting vehicle and Prius is tied with the diesel MINI Cooper D, just behind the Volkswagen Polo 1.4 TDI. This says a lot about the Prius.
Other than these citations, Consumer Reports also cited Toyota Prius on its 2008 listing of the Top Ten Best List. The Prius was named as the ‘Greenest Car’ for 2008.
This model of Toyota incorporates a number of respectable features but its centerpiece is of course, fuel economy and efficiency. Consumer Reports rated the mileage of Prius 2008 at around 44 mpg. For EPA’s estimate on the other hand, the Prius submitted 46 mpg, making this model of Toyota the most efficient car of 2008. Now EPA and Consumer Reports qualified the statements and the ratings saying that the numbers submitted by them are just estimates and often individual differences, plus other factors may help vary the results from time to time.
Because hybrid cars like the Toyota Prius brings a lot of benefits to the drivers, some goverments around the world has offered incentives to encourage people to take notice and to buy hybrid cars such as the Prius. For example, Belgium offer reductions in the purchase price of these vehicles and Canada offers rebate for those who chose to purchase hybrid cars.
Driving the Prius is not only doing good to the environment, so they say. It is also seen as a statement showing ‘political correctness’. Thanks to the support that it has been getting, Prius is a big seller for Toyota. As of November 2007, Toyota said that they already sold 510,325 Prius units in the US market alone.