After 16 years and three generations, the Prius has now passed the three-million cumulative sales mark worldwide, Toyota reported recently.
Toyota started producing the Prius in 1997, making it the world's first mass-produced hybrid passenger car. The second generation followed in 2003, with the third generation coming in 2009.
From the first to third generation, Toyota greatly reduced the cost of the Prius's hybrid system by two-thirds while improving the US Environmental Protection Agency-estimated mileage ratings for combined driving by nearly 22%. In addition, Toyota applied for 1,261 patents relating to the third-generation model.
According to Toyota, it will continue "to conduct R&D and invest in facilities in Japan for the development of hybrid and other cutting-edge technologies," and achieve sustainable growth by deploying these technologies across the globe.