Toyota Celebrates 10 Years of Prius TORRANCE Calif July 27 /PRNewswire/

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Toyota Prius PHV Electric Cars

Toyota Celebrates 10 Years of

Toyota logo. (PRNewsFoto/Toyota Relations)

TORRANCE, Calif. 27 /PRNewswire/ — Ten years ago launched a new kind of car in North It was the Prius, an affordable car with a gas/electric powertrain.

In the decade followed, the Prius made an mark on the automotive industry. The car the signature wedge shape to be an agent of change, and a catalyst for ideas. Over 1.8 million have been sold in the to date, with nearly in the U.S. alone.

Toyota in the 1990s that sustainable would become a huge in the coming decades, said Jim president and COO of Toyota Motor USA. Inc. Those proved accurate, and if anything, more profound considering we know today.

It’s to say what would have had there been no Prius in the but in the 10 years since the car has been significant benefits have Nearly 900,000 people who to drive a Toyota Prius the average car have prevented an nine million tons of CO2 entering the atmosphere,* conserved 650 million gallons of gas,** and an estimated 1.5 billion of their dollars.***

The first Prius to North America in July of That year, the hit of the North International Auto Show in was the Hummer H2, and national gasoline averaged about $1.50 per Modest Prius sales of 12,000 units a year set.

Not all early reviews were One car magazine said, With a 35 mpg, this is a car that enthusiasts nor greenies can fully Competing manufacturers announced hybrids were not an economical or solution to America’s future

Many insisted that had provided the solution to a problem did not exist.

Prius owners, felt otherwise. Widely as extreme environmentalists, early adopters were actually likely to be tech-savvy professionals. first owners, well of public events and global were conscious of the impact of own choices. They became advocates for the technology. Soon, outstripped supply, and production had to be up as waiting lists became long.

In fact, Prius were driven by a number of As fuel costs spiked, a economic rationale for purchase But more significantly, the Prius customer expectations as to what a car be.

Driving a Prius delivered a new of satisfaction, based on a new set of values. It was a car with advanced features, in with global issues assumed greater importance year. It provided an affordable solution that earlier cars did not, as it was able to use infrastructure without concerns for or range limitations.

Today, the has become a mainstream vehicle. It is the selling car in the Toyota line, and an for the company. Owner loyalty are among the highest in the automotive

Refining The System

Each of the Prius has moved the bar higher. the first-generation compact Prius was in 2000, buyers got 97 combined and were told to expect 41 Ten years later, the midsize has 134 horsepower and delivers an EPA rating of 50 mpg

Improvements have been Compared to the original car in 2000, the Prius is bigger, faster and cleaner. While the first was classified as a Super Ultra Low Vehicle (SULEV), the current is a SULEV/AT-PZEV, meaning that it super-ultra-low-emissions-vehicle requirements, and emits emissions at rest. Further like the solar powered system on the 2010 model, to the car’s reputation as a harbinger of trends and technologies.

As time on, the media gained a better of Prius. The editors of Motor magazine, in naming the Prius Car of the Year, were thoroughly with the Prius as not only a marvel, but as a truly liveable The Car Connection described it as Nothing than the world’s most powertrain ever delivered to customers. Highly visible became owners, helping Prius an aspirational eco-car.

In The

The development of the original Prius, sending a man to the moon, was a daring with many breakthroughs and setbacks. What started as a exercise between a few planners and ultimately became an intently determined corporate priority. the vehicle that became the was accomplished in a relatively short of time through use of computer to design and prove ideas. By the use of prototypes, Toyota engineers the way cars are designed and built.

Many of the components had to be invented scratch. Those that had been invented, such as brakes and electronic power needed to be improved and adapted for production. Global standards for components had to be set, and new software

A total of nine on-board were needed to manage the delivery between engine, brakes and motor/generator. Many and batteries were developed, and discarded before they be proven. Engines had to be converted to run on the efficient Atkinson Cycle to a new, unique transaxle.

A new type of instrumentation had to be developed. the Prius, there was a need to the interplay between the engine and the leading to a display that the driver informed of his status on counts. The new instrumentation empowered the to improve mileage by altering technique, turning driving an interactive game. Today, feedback displays are in use on almost new vehicle on the market.

Unprecedented standards had to be instituted as motors and that had been reliable for stationary use proved vulnerable to cold and vibration. Multi-million-dollar ventures were established in to assure the G21 Project, as it was called, one day lead to a mass-produced vehicle.

These investments were in an automotive environment that was by sales of trucks and SUVs; in a that The Economist magazine as drowning in oil. Through it Toyota management remained that their goal of fuel efficiency with performance would one day be appreciated.

there are nearly 30 hybrid on the road from 12 brands, more on the drawing boards. of the patents filed during the of the original Prius are now licensed to who also take advantage of initial RD investment. Nevertheless, one out of two hybrids on American roads is a which remains the benchmark to all hybrid cars are compared.

The of the Future

There may be many for the Prius and Hybrid Synergy but one significant advancement, the Prius Hybrid (PHV) is already A fleet of Prius Plug-In is now in a global-demonstration program aimed at the capabilities of the cars and fine-tuning the to meet customer expectations. The car is with small Lithium-Ion packs that will the PHV produce even less gas emissions than conventional vehicles. A commercial PHV is scheduled to go on in 2012.

Longer term, Synergy Drive components and provide a direct bridge to efficient drivetrains of the future. And breakthrough technologies are on the horizon, gains in battery technology and combustion engines keep the competitive. Even in a world of fuels, electric cars and fuel cells, it’s a bet that Prius cars on Hybrid Synergy Drive be around for a long time to

*Based on average of EPA-estimated CO2 rating of all MY01-MY10 cars and miles/year. Fueleconomy.gov .

**Based on EPA-estimated combined mpg rating of all MY10 cars and 10,000 Fueleconomy.gov. Actual mileage vary.

***Based on average combined mpg rating of all MY01 cars and 10,000 miles/year. Actual mileage will Gas prices based on average all grades/all formulations retail prices, including taxes.

Energy Information Administration.

Timeline: Significant Dates and

1990: Meetings begin work on Project G21, a car for the Century, in Toyota City and Technical Center. Fuel target was 20 kilometers per liter, 50% better than other cars of the time.

1994 Project team addresses chassis and packaging decisions. The was granted the right to develop new from scratch if necessary.

(July): G21 Project, Phase III accelerating development for production of the parallel to development of Toyota’s hybrid system.

1995 Toyota Hybrid System and code-named 890T.

1995 Hybrid concept Prius at Tokyo Motor Show propulsion system described as (Energy Management System).

(December): Anticipating the future EV and vehicle market, Panasonic EV was established as a joint venture Matsushita and Toyota.

1997 Gen 1 Prius launched in Japan a final design period of 17 Wins Japan Car of the Year and Global Climate Protection from the U.S. EPA, other accolades.

1998 . Announced in July Toyota would export units annually to North and Europe .

2000 . Post-Prius era of history begins. From time on, the concept of environmental begins to take root, and all cars would be compared to the

2003 . Prius sales hit units, double the number planned.


2004 . Second Prius launched, called Car of the by Motor Trend Magazine.

Total U.S. Prius reach 500,000 units it first launched in July .

2008 . National average gas hit $4.09 per gallon on July 7 .

. Third generation Prius as 2010 model with 1.8-liter engine, 0.25 of drag and 51 mpg City.

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