Environmental responsibility has always been promoted by Toyota in all its products and operations. Toyota leads the industry in producing low-emission and fuel efficient gasoline-powered vehicles like the Prius and the Highlander. Starting it off with the Prius, Toyota has taken the front line in decreasing environmental impacts of automobiles by using full hybrid system that significantly reduces fuel consumption and emissions. With this environment-friendly technological breakthrough, Toyota has provided auto users ideal means of transportation and a high sense of social responsibility. Today it continues its efforts by developing fuel cell vehicles and maintaining its manufacturing plants' "zero landfill producing operations" status.
Prius means "to go before", which perfectly fits this highly distinguished vehicle from Toyota. The Prius is the world's first mass-produced hybrid vehicle, introduced in Japan in 1997 and worldwide, in 2000. Toyota specially designs the Prius engine to reduce amount of emissions and to make it more efficient. It makes use of an internal combustion engine at the same time batteries and electric motor that help reduce gasoline consumption while supplying more power, thereby, meeting the car's energy demands more effectively. A number of citations prove the Prius' success in achieving its goals. Toyota Prius models made from 2000 to 20003 were awarded Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle by the California Air Resources Board while the 2004 model was certified as an Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emission Vehicle. Also, it has been cited as the North American Car of the Year and Motor Trend Car of the Year for 2004.
The second generation Prius launched in 2004 is bigger and more spacious than the first Prius, moving it from the compact to the midsize category. It features a new Hybrid Synergy Drive System that allows the Prius to operate either in gas or electric modes or in gas-electric mode, which makes it more advantageous than other hybrid systems. Prius' hybrid system boasts a high-power converter that allows drive-motor to deliver maximum power of 500 volts. Its 50 percent more powerful motor makes it possible to drive the Prius electrically for a longer time than other hybrid cars would in an electric-mode. And when it comes to environmental concerns, there's no worry about Prius' new hybrid system. It achieves 90 percent fewer tailpipe pollutants compared to a common internal combustion engine. Making your ride more pleasurable with the Prius is its dramatic aerodynamic styling that helps it achieve a 0.26 coefficient drag, which contributes a lot in increasing fuel efficiency. All these features plus Prius' comfortable and well-appointed interior makes it your most ideal car!