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How The Toyota Prius Changed The Taxi Industry For The Better

Prius has been one of the most influential cars in the past 20 years. Even more so it has changed the way we get around.


Toyota Prius a name that is synonymous with several other words. Hybrid, Slow, Slow Driver, Fuel-Efficient, Reliable, and many others. So when we hear the words Toyota Prius, we all get a different idea of what the cars mean to us in our way.

For many people living in high-density cities across the globe, Toyota Prius can mean something completely different. Prius has become one of the most popular vehicles for taxi type transportation and sparked a few good ideas that have given many Prius owners part-time work.

Prius For The Masses
When the Toyota Prius was announced, I remember sitting in my high school auto shop class and listening to my instructor. He said the car would never work in a real-world setting. It was neat technology, but it would not last. Wow, was he ever wrong.

Prius was then a bizarre vehicle. It had two types of propulsion, it had a massive 300v battery pack, and it was deemed uglier than sin by many people. The car did not have much going for it until people started buying them, then the secret was out.

Prius quickly became one of the best selling cars Toyota had ever produced, and consumers could not get enough. What is even more exciting is that cab companies started to see a four-seater gas miser's value.

2007 Toyota Prius Touring Edition Generation 2

As generation 2 rolled out, Taxi cab companies began swapping from outdated boats to the sleek, fuel-sipping Toyota Prius. The car started popping up all over in major cities across the nation. The drivers were pleased to have a vehicle that would use less fuel and have fewer maintenance requirements.

The Taxi Of A New Generation
September 2009 is a time in history when the whole ridesharing business in a different direction. The economy was tight, fuel prices had finally started to come down, and people were out of work. So, what made this time in history so great? The rideshare company called Uber began to give people new opportunities to work and to travel around.

When people found out that they could jump into their trusty Prius and begin making money almost anytime, Uber took off. Later on, in 2012, another rideshare company was founded called Lyft, and a considerable portion of the drivers all using the Toyota Prius.

Prius owners knew already that their car was designed to be a low-cost transportation option. Putting their vehicle to work meant giving owners a new perspective on life. Some people saved their family home from being foreclosed on. Others found a unique opportunity to start their own business, and some just did it to pass the time.

Prius has given people opportunities. It changed the taxi industry a lot by reducing fuel consumption and air pollution, two significant wins.

Another great thing is that with rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft, Prius owners can make a few extra dollars giving people rides while enjoying the cost savings compared to an all gasoline vehicle.

Whatever your preference is, know that Toyota Prius helped influence the shift in taxi and rideshare to help us get where we need to go, in a cleaner way, and for less money.

That is all today! I hope that you all get a great start to your weekend. Put that Prius to work and treat yourself to something nice.

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Peter Neilson is an automotive consultant specializing in electric cars and hybrid battery technologies. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Service Technology from Weber State University. Peter is also an 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. Find his page on Facebook at Certified Auto Consulting. Read more of Peter's stories at Toyota news coverage on Torque News. Search Toyota Prius Torque News for more in depth Prius coverage from our reporters.