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Prius sales top three-million since introduction

The first-generation Prius was launched in Canada in 2000, as a 2001 model

Published: July 4, 2013, 7:00 PM

As of the end of June, worldwide sales of the various generations of Toyota Prius topped three-million since its 1997 introduction in Japan, according to the company.

That figure makes it by far the most successful gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle ever.

The first-generation Prius (whose name was derived from a Latin word meaning "to go before") was launched in Canada in 2000, as a 2001 model. It was followed by the second-generation model in 2003, and the third-generation in 2009.

Over those generations, Toyota says, it reduced the cost of the hybrid system by two-thirds and increased fuel efficiency by more than 35%. Over the same time, the company applied for 1,261 patents relating to the third-generation Prius.