How the Prius became a cultural icon

priusToyota just unveiled the new Prius, a third generation of a car that revolutionized the hybrid car market. Chances are you’re next to, or within eyesight of, a Prius at this very moment in the greater Los Angeles area. The Prius is more than a car – it’s become a cultural touchstone.

And for the even bigger enviro-car crowd, Toyota is about to announce a new hydrogen option as well, the Mirai.

And Volkswagen – which got caught with their hands in the diesel emissions cookie jar – is in the crosshairs of the EPA and California Air Resources Board.

Tod Mesirow is an LA-based producer whose credits include Mythbusters and Monster Garage and he writes for About.com as well. He spoke to KCRW’s Steve Chiotakis.