Ten years ago, alternative fuel cars were making their mainstream debut in car shows. Although hybrid cars had appeared previously in car shows, the prevalence grew rapidly throughout the past ten years. The Toyota Prius, for instance, arrived in North America in 2000, selling 5,600 that year. In 2008, 158,900 Toyota Prius models were sold. The present popularity of such alternative fuel cars reflects buyers’ growing trust of the new technology. To meet the growing demand, nearly every automaker is presenting or is developing an alternative fuel vehicle, with gas-electric hybrids being the most popular, accounting for 2.8 percent of total car sales in the United States this year. Government regulations are also contributing to the development of this technology by mandating improvements in fuel efficiency. The administration is also offering automakers tax breaks and incentives in exchange for producing fuel efficient cars. Toyota will be showcasing three hybrid vehicles at the 2010 Boston auto show, including the Camry, Highlander, and the third generation Prius. Luxury automakers are also presenting alternative fuel vehicles, such as Lexus’ three hybrid models.
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