The Toyota Prius has been a favored and well-loved hybrid car from the very beginning. Generation 1 Prius did incredibly well then along came Gen 2. Sales skyrocketed, the Prius brand, became established.
The question became what on earth was driving people to want these cars? Here is what I think were significant factors for people wanting to get into a Prius.
Fuel Economy Is Off The Charts
Prius came into time right before fuel prices went through the roof. When Gen 2 came out in 2004, the climb had just begun. By 2009 during the recession, fuel prices started to dip again and then fell slowly.
Here is the thing Prius came in clutch during one of the worst times. People bought them like crazy when fuel was over 4 and 5 dollars a gallon; then, they fell in love with the car that treated them so well.
When people realized how great the car was, they were hooked, and many have kept it for over a decade, loving every movement of it.
Fuel economy is excellent, but I believe there are other things here that people flocked to as well.
The Green Car Movement
I used to be one of those guys who heard Prius and thought Tree Hugger, or Environmentalist. That was me also being closed-minded to what it meant to have own the famed hybrid.
Owning a Prius does not mean that you are or are not a specific stereotype. Every Prius owner buys the car for their reasons. However, I think it is essential to explore the Green Car Movement.
Prius, when the idea was conceived, was meant to be the car of the future. A vehicle that would help with pollution and one that would help us break away from the need for so much oil. The idea that buying a car that had a more significant impact on the planet struck a chord with many people.
A lot of Prius owners I have spoken to also bought the car because it made them feel like they were doing the right thing. What is the right thing? Well, that is up to you. I think that being Eco-conscious and taking care of the world we live in is the right thing. I also believe that many who drive Prius have a similar feeling.
Prius is one of those cars that does make an impact. The tailpipe emissions are far lower, the coefficient of drag is very minimal, and the cost of ownership is rather low also. Prius was designed to help keep people on the move while minimizing impact. I know from my own experience that this is one of the reasons why I bought into owning it.
Prius Is An Engineering Marvel
Prius is a car that overcame a ton of hurdles to get here. Toyota had to invent new things like the Insulated Gate Bi-Polar Transistor or (IGBT) to allow Prius to recapture energy. IGBT did not exist in that form until Prius was to be created.
The electric motors, the inverter/converter, the whole Toyota Hybrid system is mind-blowing and incredibly reliable. If you think about it, we are relying on wires and computers to drive us down the road.
There are Prius' out there with hundreds of thousands of miles on them operating as designed.
The Prius is indeed a car that will be in a museum today. It has influenced a new revolution in the automotive industry, much like the model T did when it was first being produced.
Toyota Prius, a car that you may think is not that cool, but in all reality is. I know why people get excited about them, I have driven them and owned 7. The cars are neat, affordable, fuel-efficient, and make me feel like I am helping the world I live in.
I still get excited every time I get in my 08 and turn it on. The Ready light flashes, the whirring of the electrical pumps and circuits just make me feel so futuristic! It really is riveting every time.
If you have not bought a Prius yet, do it. Make sure to have it checked out by your local hybrid repair facility and then drive on. Come and join us!
Have a great weekend, everyone, and be sure to stay safe out there. If you are taking any cool trips in your Prius, be sure to post them so we can see the fun you are having. Until next time. How To Select The Right Toyota Prius For Your First Time
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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.