In the year 2000, the first Toyota Prius hit the streets. Since then, the 15 years of the Prius have seen huge engineering and ecological advancements for a scene-stealing vehicle.
The first generation Prius wasn’t the prettiest ride on the road. As AutoGuide described it, the first Prius was a kind of “funny looking Toyota Echo.” But, even with its imperfect exterior design, inside this Prius was already game-changing technology: a 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, a permanent magnet AC electric motor, and 276-volt nickel metal hydride battery. Already, the Prius promised 42 mpg. The first Prius was a wide-ranging success and a dream-come-true for the frugal, selling for only $19,995 and saving bundles in gas costs.
Round 2 came in 2004. The second generation Prius saw amazing sales, with 54,000 across the year. By 2005, that doubled to 108,000. A bunch of celebrities, including everyone from Cameron Diaz to Larry David, were caught cruising around in the earth-friendly Prius.
The upward trend continued, and in 2012 the Prius went from singular to plural with the introduction of the Prius v, which has sold 118,302 units since its release just 3 years ago. 2012 also saw the release of the Prius Plug-In Hybrid, which with its bigger battery allowed drivers to cover up to 11 miles of totally emissions-free driving.
Today, at the end of the first 15 years of the Prius, we’re still seeing great achievement, like the new 2016 model that promises to be 10% more fuel efficient.
Happy anniversary, Prius!