In 1995, the first Prius prototype took 49 days before it could move and when it did move, it moved only for 500 meters. Getting off to a slow start, the company worked round the clock to get the first Prius prototype into operation.
20 years later, the company has seen outstanding response to its hybrid vehicles. 2015 marks Toyota achieving sales of 80 lakh (or 8 million) units of hybrids globally – the last million coming in just 10 months, or 20 months after crossing 6 million.
While announcing these outstanding sales figures, it should also be mentioned that these vehicle has contributed to about 58 million fewer tons of CO2 emissions which would have been released by their petrol powered counterparts. Approximately 22 million kiloliters of gasoline have also been saved as compared to that used by vehicles of same size and driving performance.
Ever since launch of Prius in 1997, Toyota has expanded its hybrid vehicle lineup which currently includes 30 hybrid passenger vehicles and one plug-in hybrid model. New launches in past year include recently announced RAV4 Hybrid, Lexus RC300h and Sienta Hybrid while Esquire Hybrid is exclusive for Japanese markets.
In India, Toyota has the Camry hybrid and Prius on offer, the former being the best selling hybrid car in the country, by a great margin.
Now, Toyota looks forward to launc Next-Generation Prius, which will debut at Las Vegas on September 8, 2015. It will see notable improvements over its present generation while a price hike is also on the cards.