With the environment and carbon emissions in mind, the very first Toyota Prius was introduced in Japan back in December 1997 as a vehicle that can run on both gas and electricity or both – a time when global warming was a serious issue that was being discusses by different countries from all over the world. After its introduction in Japan, it became as the very first mass produced hybrid vehicle that was available to the public.
Come the year 2000, the 2001 model of the Toyota Prius was made available for order on the Internet. Over 1,800 units of the hybrid vehicle was sold at the price of $19,995, creating a huge first step on the market of the United States.
The very first Prius had the Toyota Hybrid System that was powered by a 1.5-liter VVT gasoline engine that was completely made of aluminum, with a horsepower of 70 at 4,500 rpm. It also featured a 25-kw battery pack that produced around 34 horsepower. Another brilliant breakthrough that it had was its regenerative braking system which actually charged the battery with kinetic energy generated from the moving and stopping motion of the car.
From then on, the environment-friendly vehicle received many honours, winning a number of “Car of the Year” awards.