Prius Is Dominating Car Sales

When the Toyota Prius first came out, it wasn’t the most popular kid on the block — it was new, strange, unproven. The car first came to the Japanese market in 1997, and was then brought to the global car market in 2000.

Globally, in 2000, only 19,000 Prii (yep, that’s the plural) were sold, and only 5,600 in the US. But with a little bit of time, the growing cost of gasoline, and the growing threat of global warming, the Prius has become the popular kid on the block. Earlier this year, the Toyota Prius became the 3rd most popular car in the world, based on global auto sales (with a whopping 247,230 Prius hybrids sold in the first quarter of 2012).

toyota prius

On a recent trip to Northern California (Silicon Valley & San Francisco) I was shocked at how many Prii I was seeing. It seemed like every 4th car was a Prius. I was pointing them out everywhere… and my wife was getting pretty tired of that. 😀

The bottom line is that the Toyota Prius a great buy, a great deal. Additionally, it has expanded its lineup to several types of cars instead of just one. For example, there’s now a plug-in hybrid electric Prius (over 6,000 have already been sold in its 6 months on the market). Actually, three new Prius options have been introduced within the past year. Check out the full Prius C inventory for a more comprehensive look.

One of our writers over on CleanTechnica and Gas2 wrote a post in February titled “The Mystery Behind the Awesomeness of the Toyota Prius Revealed.” This was her take on why the Prius is so popular:

“It’s easy to see why the Prius outsells every other hybrid in the United States (even if you’re not thinking about how reliable it is, which is very). It’s not necessarily a pretty car (it looks kind of buggy to me), but it was really comfortable to ride in. A very short list of cars stood out as something I would be happy to climb into for five minutes or five straight hours, and the Prius was one of them.”

Maybe that’s the secret.

I imagine its success also has a lot to do with its fuel efficiency, though.

With global Prius auto sales not slowing down, and its new plug-in hybrid option doing quite well in that nascent but competitive market, my guess is that it’s going to be rocking the charts for quite a while longer.

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to and click on the relevant buttons.