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On a recent visit to San Francisco I was amazed at the number of Toyota Priuses on the road. I don’t think at any one time I could look in any direction on the highway or on city streets and not see one. It’s no wonder that the American auto market has been eclipsed by foreign auto makers, not the least of which is Toyota, riding the success wave of their gas-electric hybrid, the Prius.
What differentiates the Prius?
The Toyota Prius, unlike other hybrid cars, is only available in a hybrid version. So when you spot a Prius on the road, you automatically think hybrid and “that person cares about the environment.” This is in contrast to other, traditionally gas-powered cars that also offer hybrid versions. An example would be the Honda Civic. A great hybrid car, but the only thing giving away the fact that it’s a hybrid is a little icon on the back.
California gives credit to Hybrid owners
Always the clean-air and environmental pioneer, at least amongst U.S. states, California paves the way again by giving people additional incentives beyond those offered by the federal government (tax rebates). In particular, hybrid cars are allowed to use the carpool lane. All hybrid cars? Nope, only those that actually live up to their billing.
Hybrids allowed in carpool lane in California?
Yes, but only those that achieve 45 mpg or higher. That would include the Toyota Prius, Honda Civic Hybrid, and Honda Insight. Rightly so – American manufactured hybrids achieve a mere fraction of the fuel economy gain that their Asian counterparts do.
Are you ready to join the Toyota Prius Party?