Toyota Motor Corporation, the largest car company in the world, released its first-generation Prius hybrid vehicle in 1997...
Toyota Motor Corporation, the largest car company in the world, released their hybrid vehicle the Prius in 1997. Since that time, they have made numerous improvements to the hybrid technology that drives it. The third generation Prius, for which Toyota ultimately won the Zayed Future Energy Prize, is the first mass-produced hybrid vehicle ever made. Its ground-breaking fuel efficiency system gets approximately 38 kilometers per litre of gasoline, far better than most other fuel efficient vehicles. This fuel economy is achieved through a combination of Toyota's innovative hybrid drive technology, increasing the efficiency of the gasoline engine, reducing the weight of the vehicle, and improving aerodynamics.
Toyota's goals were not to simply develop a more fuel efficient vehicle, however. In order to have a significant impact on climate change, the Prius needed to be adopted on a large scale. As such, the Prius was designed with affordability in mind, while still meeting Toyota's high standards for safety and quality. As of December of 2009, over 1.6 million Priuses had been sold, resulting in cumulative reductions of about 7 million tons of CO2.
Since its introduction in 1997, the Prius has saved over seven million tonnes of carbon dioxide from polluting our atmosphere. Toyota has plans to implement its state of the art hybrid technology into its other car lines in the future, increasing its potential positive impact on our environment.