Several surveys have identified that emissions from cars and other vehicles are the major contributor to global warming in the world. Taking the lead to overcome this life-threatening issue, the Japanese carmaker Toyota introduced its first Hybrid car "PRIUS" in 1977. Prius kick-started the electric vehicle industry and showed a roadmap for mass-produced eco-friendly electric vehicles.

The Roadblockers:

Before Prius, the industry's last hybrid car debuted in 1917 and failed. Consequently, Toyota was under enormous pressure to launch a vehicle that sustains in the competitive market. To deliver world-class products, the company had put all its workforce and experts panel in developing the best hybrid vehicle. In 1995, Toyota committed that it will design and develop a commercially viable hybrid electric-petrol vehicle with double the fuel efficiency within the next three years.

The company launched the car's first operational prototype after tiresome 49 days of round the clock work done by engineers who were trying assembling hundreds of components and thousands of parts including software interface. But the prototype didn't perform as expected. Its fuel efficiency was worse than gasoline cars, drivability was inferior, and the battery systems and powertrain were unreliable. This created more problems for the company.

Roadmap to the success of Prius

Despite all the hurdles and shortcomings, Prius was launched right in time. The reason for this success is the management method called simultaneous engineering. This method solved multiple issues all at once. Under this method, both the production and designing team worked in collaboration to ensure that design faults are not reflected in the final product.

The team completed the task and achieved the goal of introducing the world's first hybrid car, Prius to the world in 1997. The car had 560 miles (901km) driving range and 58mi/lit, i.e. 25km/litres combined fuel economy.

Since the introduction of the electric marvel, Toyota had sold 10 million hybrid vehicles and is continuously evolving and innovating in this area.

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