Toyota celebrates the Prius' 10th birthday |

It’s a bit hard to believe, but the Toyota Prius hybrid is turning 10 years old this year.

“Toyota recognized in the 1990s that sustainable transportation would become a huge challenge in the coming decades,” said Jim Lentz, president and COO of Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. “Those realizations proved accurate, and if anything, even more profound considering what we know today.”

The Japanese model has been launched in the US market back in summer of 2000 as an awkward four-door sedan (pictured above), with a mildly impressive fuel average.

Still, despite not so positive reviews, in 2004, Toyota hit jackpot with the second generation Prius, and its hatchback body style. The model became a pop icon, with celebrities and eco-minded people buying them as fast as Toyota made them.

Now, in 2010, the third generation Prius has been revealed, boasting an increased power output but still maintaining a reasonable fuel average.

According to Toyota statistics, over 1.8 million Prius hybrids were sold since the car was revealed, with nearly 900,000 purchased in the US alone. Besides the regular hybrid models, new cars packed with lithium-ion batteries and plug-in capabilities are being tested out, and are expected to arrive around 2012. Also, according to a recent report, the next generation Prius might be produced in the USA, but that won’t happen until 2016, at least.

Still, if you’re among the people who love the Prius, raise your glass and celebrate the most popular hybrid on Earth.

Source: Toyota

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Post tags : anniversary, celebration, Hybrid, Toyota, toyota prius