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Prius Earns World Green Car Award: No One is Surprised

The Toyota Prius is the full-hybrid electric car that is viewed as one of the pioneers of its class. Introduced in Japan back in 1997 as the first mass-produced hybrid vehicle in the country, the Prius was introduced globally starting in 2000. Since then, the Prius has been offered in different model variants and continues to be one of the best-selling hybrids ever produced.

One of the latest versions of Toyota’s best-selling hybrid is also chargeable. The Prius Prime was introduced by the brand after customers expressed their hope that a chargeable version of the Toyota would one day become available. And just like that – the Prius Prime hit dealer showroom floors. Voila!

It’s not surprising that the first mass-produced hybrid car continues to win awards, right? I don’t tend to think so – but apparently, everyone else does. Perhaps it’s because the Prius Prime is still so new to the market here in America, but it seems as though people are shocked every time this car wins an award for being “green.”

The most recent award for the Prius Prime was announced at the 2017 New York International Auto Show in April. In what I imagine was a dramatic declaration, the 2017 World Green Car award went to the 2017 Prius Prime. Toyota took home the same honor at last year’s show, but it was the Mirai, not the Prius Prime, that received the coveted blue ribbon.

I imagine Toyota that night was like the celebrity at the Oscars who knows with a great deal of certainty that their name will be read when the envelope is finally opened. Sitting with a calm sense of confidence, they grip their carefully constructed acceptance speech in one hand, while leaving the other hand free to cover their mouth in fabricated surprise. When their name is finally announced as the winner, their charade continues to the stage and is solidified in their actual speech.

Just as a celebrity who is certain of his Oscar win, Toyota no doubt thought to themselves, “Well of course we won! As if any of the others were even close to our caliber” Of course, these words would never be outright spoken – but everyone in the room would know that they were at least being thought.

In regards to the Prius Prime taking home the 2017 Green Car Award, no one was surprised. After all, what about the Prius Prime isn’t green? Sure, there are more competitors out there today than there were back in 2000 when the original Prius was first sold here in the United States. But is it even fair to compare them to the car that was the first hybrid vehicle to ever be mass-produced and sold?

Before you spend too much of your time feeling sorry for the other hybrid and otherwise “green” vehicles that missed out on the 2017 Green Car Award – remember that there is always next year. Of course, if history ends of repeating itself, next year will also go to Toyota. But, once again, I digress.