Toyota Prius, the name that really put hybrid cars on the map. This car has been an industry disruptor, and leader for hybrid technology. It is also a fan favorite when it comes to taxi fleets, uber and lyft drivers also.
WIth so many options out there, why are people choosing the Toyota Prius over any other hybrid? Here are 3 solid reasons why.
Factor 1, The Toyota Prius Is Far More Reliable
The Prius had to last which is why Toyota did not mess around when Prius was built. They knew Prius hybrid technology had to work if it were to change the world. Toyota bet it all on black, or green for that matter, and won. The result has been a worldwide phenomenon.
Prius quickly became a car people were attracted to, and when generation 2 was released, consumers went crazy for it. People then began using the Prius for all sorts of crazy things, like hauling a couch, or doing long road trips. This quickly got the attention of Taxi fleets. The incredible fuel economy was a huge turn on for them saving tens of thousands dollars in fuel savings alone.
Taxi cars get abused, they go for hours upon hours at a time and in all sorts of varying conditions. Prius has been subjected to hard, fast, acceleration, extreme braking, and numerous start/stop engine cycles. Prius is incredibly reliable, going day in and day out without skipping a beat, makes it the ultimate taxi.
Factor 2, Prius Has Incredible Durability
Reliability is one thing, almost any new car is pretty reliable for the first few years it is on the road. The real test comes after hundreds of thousands of miles. Prius proved this pretty quickly. Taxi cars can log, on average, around 93,000 miles in a year in some places. This means that they have to be relentless about working all the time.
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Some Prius cars have reported well over 500,000 miles or more before decommission. This is incredible. Even with some of the common issues these cars faced, they still were able to get repaired quickly, with minimal cost. The quick turnaround time makes them far more profitable, because if they are driving, they are earning money.
Regular taxi cars would need to have more major repairs done such as engines and transmissions. This could keep a taxi down for days or even weeks as a time. Prius is not that way. The engine and transmission Prius has is nearly trouble free, and has provided the operator with miles upon miles of longevity. This makes Prius, one of the most durable options for a Taxi.
Factor 3, Toyota Made Prius To Have Low Operating Costs
Prius started a green movement that changed everything about operating a motor vehicle. Including what it costs to maintain it. Prius was not just about cleaning up the air, it was also about reducing our dependence on petroleum products.
Fuel of course was a major factor, but also the minimal amount of other fluids made a huge difference as well. 2nd generation Prius uses only 3.75 quarts per oil change, 4 quarts of transmission fluid, and a small yet effective fuel tank. All of these things combined made Prius pretty maintenance savvy.
The transmission fluid could go far greater distances than before with Toyota's new World Standard fluid. 100k intervals were really no sweat for a fluid change, making operating costs even lower. Oil changes went from 5,000 to 10,000 miles in 2010, allowing Prius to stay on the road longer and make more money.
So why do taxi, uber and lyft drivers prefer the Prius over something like a Honda or Chevrolet? For all the reasons above. No other hybrid car could make that claim, initially. Prius has built a following for taxis like no other.
Even with other car manufacturers brining hybrids into the mix, the brand has spoken for itself. Prius is the ultimate taxi because it has proven itself over and over again.
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Peter Neilson is an automotive consultant specializing in electric cars and hybrid battery technologies. He is an automotive technology instructor at Columbia Basin College. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Service Technology from Weber State University. Peter is also an Adjunct Instructor of automotive technology at Columbia Basin College. Peter can be reached on Linkedin and you can tweet him at The_hybrid_guy on Twitter.