The Toyota Prius is one of Japan's most popular cars with sales of over 2.5 million vehicles worldwide. The hybrid Prius can be powered by gasoline as well as electric power and is recognized as one of the the world's most fuel-efficient cars.
The Prius has become a politically correct vehicle for a number of celebrities around the world, though its real ecological footprint is debated.
The Prius' Panasonic-manufactured battery relies of a combination of rare earths and though the car is ecological in terms of low Carbon Dioxide emissions, it is heavily reliant on other precious resources.
The Prius is now on its third generation XW30 model with a 1.8-liter gasoline engine, larger than previous models. The body of the Prius contains plant-derived ecological bioplastics, such as kenaf and ramie, drawn from ground-breaking research on bio-plastics in a number of Japanese universities.
Like this blog? Sign up for the JapanVisitor newsletter
Books on Tokyo Japan