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Happy 10th Birthday to the U.S. Prius

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by Danny, Apr 22, 2010.

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  1. Danny

    Danny Admin/Founder Staff Member

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    On Earth Day in 2000, Toyota officially announced that the Prius would be hitting U.S. shores, along with pricing and purchase information. Hard to believe that it has been 10 years since "the Prius that shook the world" was introduced to the U.S. market.
    Over the last 10 years we have seen the rise and fall of many hybrid cars, but none have been able to replicate the tremendous ascent the Prius has seen in the last decade. Toyota has now sold over 1 million hybrids in the U.S., and it's all thanks to the little car shown above.
    Happy Birthday, Classic Prius!
  2. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    1 person likes this.
  3. DeadPhish

    DeadPhish Senior Member

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    The first order I got on the Gen 1's was in June of 2000. It was a special process where the buyer registered directly with Toyota Torrance, the vehicles began arriving here on the E Coast in Jan 2001.

    Single CD and no Cruise Control. A strippie delivered 1-12-2001.
  4. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    I remember that day as clear as if it was yesterday. Of course, it wasn't actually 10 years ago. It was 4/19/2000 when I used the newly revealed Toyota webpage to signup for notification. They must have wanted to get the interface in place prior to Earth Day itself.

    It was very exciting to finally get information about the US rollout. Hearing about and to already have had seen the earlier JAPAN model was making me crazy with anticipation.
    .
  5. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    I remember first encounters with a classic in January 2001 - a cube neighbor just bought one. She had waited 4 months for it and it was $20,000. Looking under the hood, I thought ... what the ..?

    I remember being piled in the backseat, 5 total, driver was a leadfoot and she punched the gas from a stop up an incline. I thought, gee, not bad pickup for an overloaded small car. :)
  6. Jerry W

    Jerry W Junior Member

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    prius10.jpg

    Happy birthday, US Prius! Click on the image for a larger picture..

    [ The cake was made in 2007 by Toyota UK to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the actual Prius launch; I still have a slice, tucked away!]
  7. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North Staff Member

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    I remember someone at my high school had one in Aqua Blue Pearl (Ocean Blue Pearl). I also remember a couple at the 2001 auto show who looked it at. The husband said "[Cdn]$30k for this car and no leather?" To which I replied, "It's a hybrid. It's part gas, part electric." It was then they took a closer look under the hood.
  8. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    May 11, 2000 is when I got my first Prius.

    Here's a photo of it taken that day, parked on top of the moonroof of my older vehicle...

    [​IMG]

    .
  9. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North Staff Member

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  10. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web 03 and 10 Prius

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    My day of enlightenment was a little delayed:


    We went with a 2001 Echo instead:

    • cruise control - the Echo had it, the Prius didn't
    • navigation - the Prius had it, we didn't want it
    • electric doors - the dealer installed in the Echo
    • $14,250 vs $22,000+ - the Prius was not priced to sell
    In September 2005, the Camry was lost in a Katrina, rain-slick accident. I didn't realize the insurance company would 'confiscate' my 32 MPG Camry instead of letting me repair it. Never again will I continue 'collision' when the wholesale price is less than what I would handle from 'petty cash.'

    I'd become more interested in the Prius and was impressed by the EPA rating (cira. 2005) of 45 MPG highway and 52 MPG city. But still, the first question was is the Prius a better choice than the two Honda alternatives:

    • Insight - two seats, impractical.
    • Honda Civic Hybrid - too little EV power.
    Then came the interesting question, would a used Prius do? It has been my practice to choose a 'used' vehicle first because it avoids the 'new car premium.' This was reenforced when I'd signed up for a Prius waiting list with Bill Penny Toyota in the spring of 2005.
    One day I was working and I got a call, actually a voice message, from Bill Penny sales critter,
    "First person with $1,000 can buy the Prius that just arrived."
    They wanted to invite me to a Prius auction, not a proper waiting list. I looked at the phone and thought, "Who the H*LL do you think you are?" But then five months later, we lost our Camry in an accident.
    I started looking on Ebay for a used Prius and knowing the Kelly Blue Book value, knew the price range. But our local HSV groups included a lot of . . . 'successful Republican Southern Strategy' members. They had speculated about traction battery life . . . and I pondered the issue.

    Now I realized a 49,000 mile Prius still had 51,000 miles of traction battery warranty left . . . but still I was concerned. Then as I walked into work one morning, I realized:
    These 'people' are wrong about everything else in life. They must be either totally wrong about the traction battery or more likely totally clueless about the Prius traction battery.
    The next Monday, I found a 2003 Prius in Fort Worth Texas for $1,000 under Kelly Blue Book value; called and asked about how to freeze the deal; put down a Visa card deposit; ordered the maintenance manuals, and; the first Friday in October, flew to Fort Worth to pickup the car. On the way to Fort Worth, I started this MGP vs mph chart:
    [​IMG]
    You'll notice the mileage point for the trip to Texas in the upper right corner. Since then, the Prius has become interesting.

    We sold the 2001 Echo last year to help buy a brand new, 2010 Prius. The 2001 Echo continues in service to the happiness of both the buyer and myself. Our 2010 Prius had the transaxle oil changed at 5,000 miles and the oil testing results showed that was a valuable 'lessons learned' from our 2003 Prius.

    Bob Wilson
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