Milestone: 1 Millionth Toyota Prius Sold in U.S.

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A milestone for the groundbreaking Prius hybrid -- Toyota announced on Wednesday that it had sold its one millionth Prius in the United States.

"Prius paved the way for hybrids," Bob Carter, Toyota Division group vice president and general manager in the U.S., said in a statement according to a report in the Los Angeles Daily News.

The Prius was introduced eleven years ago when gas prices were low. At first it was mainly a vehicle for the environmentally conscious. But when gas prices started to rise, so did demand for the Prius.

In 2008 when gas prices hit an all-time high, for example, Toyota moved 159,000 Prii (that's plural for Prius, Toyota recently announced). So far this year, 43,000 Prii have been sold, up 52% over the same period last year.

"Prius has become synonymous with the word hybrid, and as we see fuel prices starting to rise again, it has accounted for more than 60 percent of hybrid passenger car sales so far this year," Carter said.

The Prius gets an estimated 51 miles per gallon in the city and 48 on the highway, the most fuel-efficient cars on the road, except for all-electric cars.

Toyota has sold three million Prii worldwide.

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