The Toyota Prius hybrid
car has overdriven expectations in that supply exceeds
demand. The Prius, which means "to go before"
in Latin has pioneered the hybrid car industry with its
EPA estimated 60 mpg highway which was once unheard of
for an automatic transmission car.
The Prius operates on
a gasoline-electric hybrid system that can perform in
either gasoline or electric mode or a combination of the
two. Unlike most cars, the Toyota Prius is efficient in
stop-and-go driving conditions.
The U. S. Department of Energy of their FuelEconomy.gov
website rates the Prius at the top in regards to low emissions
of greenhouse gases. The American Automobile Association in
their Westways magazine call the Prius a partial zero-emission
vehicle (PZEV), which means it emits "extremely low evaporative
The 2004 model of Toyota's Prius hybrid was redesigned
from earlier models to include more room, features, economy
and more power for about the same price. The Prius now has
a regenerative braking system, which means when the brakes
are applied, the electric motor becomes a generator and
recharges the battery pack.
The gasoline engine only starts when needed such as at
a long stop light, otherwise the batteries and electric
motor power the car. According to Toyota, "Prius' Hybrid
Synergy Drive constantly monitors multiple on-road variables
to provide an ideal blend of power for any driving situation."
The Prius hybrid comes with an 8-year, 100,000 mile warranty
and at which time the battery pack will most likely need
to be replaced. Currently the cost is $4000, but Toyota
promises a reduction in price in the next several years
to around the $1000 mark.
The Prius' Hybrid Synergy Drive
has 50-percent more power than the previous model
and sports a new generator that has a higher peak
operating speed. Acceleration of the newer model of
Prius is comparable to the Toyota Camry LE four-cylinder.
Some of the standard features for the post-2004
- Air conditioning
- Power windows, door locks and mirrors
- ABS and traction control
- Tire pressure monitor
- Cruise control
- Keyless entry
- Tilt steering wheel with audio/climate controls
- 60/40 Split-folding rear seat
- AM/FM/CD with 6 speakers
- Multi-information display with trip computer
Here are the Prius hybrid specifications, courtesy of
Toyota has reported that sales of the Prius hybrid car rose
115-percent in August 2005 over sales one year earlier. In 2007,
Toyota reported that in the first quarter ever sales of the
Prius have flattened out because of competition from other hybrids
in the market.
The Toyota Prius hybrid car remains one of the premiere
green vehicles on the market today. For high gas mileage
and PZEV-rated low emissions, only Honda can come close
in presenting a vehicle that will help clean up the environment
and reduce the U. S. dependency upon foreign oil.
Remember, green cars today mean greener pastures tomorrow.
Now there's a slogan for you.