In 2000 when the Prius made its debut, the first year only 5,562 were sold in the United States. Now, 13 years later, Toyota is celebrating the sale of its five millionth hybrid. While in 2000 Toyota was already proving they were ahead of their time in hybrid technology, the lack of sales was proof that consumers who were so used to gasoline-powered vehicles were not quite ready for the futuristic Prius. Now consumers find fuel-efficiency to be one of the most important factors when it comes to purchasing a new vehicle and Toyota is providing vehicles that fit this need. While the Prius is strictly sold as a hybrid, Toyota took one of the big reasons people overlooked hybrids and that was because they were different. By taking its most popular vehicle, the Camry, and offering it in a hybrid version, people could buy a hybrid that did not “look like a hybrid”. The Highlander and Avalon soon joined the ranks of Toyota “normal” looking hybrids.
Toyota also saw the need to provide different styles and sizes of Priuses to appeal to a larger group of consumers. With over 147,000 Priuses alone sold in 2012, it seems Toyota has built a winning lineup of Prius and other hybrid options. So, what has 5 million hybrids done for fuel use and the environment? Toyota estimates that hybrid usage has saved over 3 billion gallons of fuel and accounted for 34 fewer tons of CO2 being emitted into the environment. With hybrid sales increasing yearly, they are definitely working toward a cleaner environment for the future. No matter what reason consumers choose to switch to hybrid-powered vehicles they stand to benefit in fuel savings as well as making less of an impact on the environment as a whole.
If you have never driven a hybrid, there is no better time than now to stop by Street Toyota and take one for a test drive. Whether you are looking for a compact commuter friendly hybrid like the Prius c or want the luxury and passenger room that the Avalon hybrid offers, Street Toyota has them available for you to experience. With 5 million people worldwide with 2 million of them in the United States alone choosing a hybrid, that is proof enough that they are worth a look!