There wouldn’t be many people who haven’t heard of the Toyota Prius. It’s been on sale since 2001, and more than 20,000 examples have been sold in Australia since, in hatch, fastback sedan, and seven-seat form.
The Prius took the notion of a petrol/electric car into the mainstream, with a huge amount of publicity from well-meaning celebs jumping aboard the ‘green’ wagon. Known as a series hybrid, the Prius uses a four-cylinder petrol engine that combines with a single electric motor to propel the car. The petrol engine can also charge the on-board battery pack, in conjunction with regenerative braking. This technology has also been added to other Toyotas, like the Camry and the Corolla.