If you thought you were seeing Toyota Priuses absolutely everywhere these days, you were right. The hybrid car has gone from a small, niche vehicle to global top-seller in just over a decade.
High demand in the U.S. and Japanese incentives for domestic vehicles were driving factors in the Prius hitting the third-best selling mark in the first quarter of this year, where Toyota sold 247,230 of the vehicles globally and 86,027 in the U.S. alone. The expansion of the Prius family to include four models of vehicles also drove up sales.
Number one Toyota Corolla, number two Ford Focus and the rest of the top five best-selling cars were all smaller, fuel-efficient sedans, which shows a global consensus that fuel efficiency is a necessary feature in a car.
The fact that the Prius has gone from an "alternative vehicle" in 2000 to a full-fledged mainstream car in 2012 means that same evolution is just as achievable for the all-electric models that have hit the market in the past couple of years, especially as charging infrastructure spreads across the country and around the world.
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