Three generations in sixteen years and more than three million units sold worldwide - as of the end of June, those are the stats on the Toyota Prius. Even though Toyota says Prius sales might not reach the goal of 250,000 units this year, the little hybrid that could still doesn't have any problem flying off dealer lots. The second-generation Prius sold 1.2 million examples in its eight-year lifespan, and the third generation, introduced in 2009, has sold 1.7 million examples in just four years.

Toyota is also touting its investment in future powertrains, some 790 billion yen ($7.9 billion US) on research and development into new platforms and components, and "environmental technology development."

The press release below has more details, the future undoubtedly has more Priuses Prii in it.
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Worldwide Prius sales top 3 million mark

Over JPY 790 billion (1) to be spent on R&D for Ever-better Cars


Toyota City, Japan, 03 Jul 2013 - Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announces that as of the end of June, worldwide cumulative sales of the iconic Prius petrol-electric hybrid vehicle passed the 3 million mark (2).

In 1997, TMC launched the Prius, which was the world's first mass-production hybrid passenger car. The second generation followed in 2003, and the third generation in 2009. From the first to third generation, TMC greatly reduced the cost of the hybrid system by two-thirds and reduced CO2 emissions from 114 g/km to 89 g/km (measured using the EU Combined Driving Cycle). In addition, TMC applied for 1,261 patents relating to the third-generation Prius, achieving progress worthy of the Prius name (derived from a Latin word meaning "to go before").

Since the development of the first generation Prius, TMC has positioned hybrid technology as a core technology required for the development of various types of environment-friendly vehicles and has placed emphasis on the development and production of core components such as motors, inverters, batteries, and electronic control units (ECUs), giving rise to substantial investment in Japan.

TMC 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 Japan-developed technologies across the globe.

In the fiscal year ending March 2014, TMC expects to spend a consolidated JPY 890 billion (3) (JPY 790 billion (4) unconsolidated) on environmental technology development, as well as on strengthening new platform and major component development.

In the same period, TMC also plans to make consolidated capital expenditure investments of JPY 910 billion (up seven per cent year-on-year), with JPY 440 billion invested in Japan (up nine per cent year-on-year).

Investments in R&D infrastructure include a new R&D facility (651 hectares) and the Powertrain Development and Production Engineering Building (a 12-story structure with a total floor area of 100,000 m²) in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture, that will serve as a next-generation powertrain development base, as well as the Aerodynamics Laboratory (capable of producing winds of 250 km/h) located in the Honsha Technical Center.

Future capital investments by consolidated subsidiaries include an investment by Primearth EV Energy Co., Ltd. (PEVE) for expanding battery production capacity at its Omori Plant in Kosai City, Shizuoka Prefecture.

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Model / Cumulative Sales (5) / Production Status
Prius I / 123 / ended Aug, 2003
Prius II / 1,192 / ended Dec, 2011
Prius III / 1,688 / on-going

Total Prius: 3,002

Model / Cumulative Sales (5) / Production Status
Prius +/Alpha/v / 322 / on-going
Prius Plug-in / 35 / on-going
Prius c / 75 / on-going

Total Prius [nameplate]: 3,436

Notes to the editors:
(1) Unconsolidated basis
(2) Based on TMC data
(3) Up 10 per cent year-on-year
(4) Up 11 per cent year-on-year
(5) Sum of worldwide cumulative total through the end of May 2013 and June sales volume in the United States