A huge score for hybrid cars, as the Toyota Prius surged from very low sales to become the world’s third best selling car, just 15 years after it first hit the market. The Prius is the first hybrid car to top in global sales.
Majority of the top five best selling car list are small and fuel-efficient sedans. This is a very strong consensus of the growing interest in fuel-efficient vehicle, a feature that can give rise to more hybrid and electric cars.
The success of the hybrid Prius means that the same can be achieved for all hybrid or electric cars that hit the market several year back, but did not make it big on sales. Especially with the continuous growth and evolution of charging infrastructures around the world.
The Prius has already sold 247,230 vehicles globally and 86,027 in the U.S. alone, top market for the Prius. One of the main factor of the rise in sales is the expansion of the Prius family, with four models to date.
The Prius is known for its fuel-efficiency, rather than performance. It carries a 1.8L four-cylinder combustion engine that makes 98 horsepower(HP) and a battery pack that can produce 36 horsepower, for a combined total output of 134 horsepower.
The newest model released last March 2012, Prius Plug-in, boosts a 95 MPGe (Miles-Per-Gallon-equivalent) fuel-efficiency rating. With this model its battery can now be charged either through its regenerative brakes system or by simply plugging it into standard electric power outlet.
The Plug-in’s battery also boosts its all-electric drive range to 15 miles with a maximum speed of 60 mph. The Prius Plugin takes about three hours to charge with a 120-volt outlet and about just one and a half hours when using a 240-volt power outlet.