The Toyota Prius, the first massed produced hybrid car, offering Australians
the opportunity to take a step into the future of motor vehicles.
Why is the Toyota Prius so special?

Toyota Prius Homepage
Image courtesy of Toyota      

A Prius is a Toyota sedan that has a petrol/electric drive train. The Toyota prius is the first commercially available ‘hybrid car’.

The Toyota Prius is distinct from every other car on the road in that it has an electric motor to assist the petrol motor. This electric motor is powered by a set of batteries located under the back seat.

The batteries are charged directly from the petrol motor and from ‘regenerative braking’ – using the kinetic energy of the car when decellerating.

Because petrol motors are least efficient when the vehicle accelarates or idles, this is when the Prius petrol electric/drive train assists the most. When accellerating, the electric motor assists or replaces the petrol motor. When idling, the petrol motor shuts off all together.

Overall the Prius uses about half as much fuel as an equivalent sized car. This results in a 50% reduction in greenhouse emissions.

The Toyota Prius.  Where technology meets imagination.  A car that is green - but still has the power to perform.  A 21st century car with a conscience.However, because the Prius' electric assist is of greatest help when the vehicle is in what would normally be its most inefficient mode (accelerating), emissions such as NOx, CO, SO2, ozone and other air pollutants are reduced by up to 80%.

The importance of the Prius is that it is the first commercially available hybrid car. The Prius sets the scene for a whole new generation of hybrid vehicles. In turn, hybrid technology provides an important technological step towards the vehicles of the near future that use hydrogen for fuel and ‘fuel cells’ as a replacement for petrol engines.

More information about sustainable cars and fuel cells:

Toyota Prius Homepage
Visit the Toyota Prius website

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