Metroland Media/Wheelstalk.com -
Toyota recently announced that global sales of its hybrid vehicles – since the first was launched in 1997 – have reached over 4.6 million units as of October 31 of this year, with 1.02 million selling this year alone (from January 1 through October 31).
Toyota has endeavoured to promote the mass-market adoption of hybrid vehicles in order to meet its environmental goals and allow its customers to choose a vehicle that reduces their own environmental impact and use of fossil fuels.
In August 1997, TMC launched the “Coaster Hybrid EV” gasoline-electric hybrid minibus in Japan, and the following December the world’s first mass-produced hybrid passenger vehicle; the Toyota Prius, Sales of the Prius began in North America, Europe and other markets in 2000. The second-generation Prius was launched in 2003, followed by the third generation in 2009. Toyota has expanded its hybrid lineup to include minivans, SUVs, rear-wheel-drive sedans and compact hatchbacks. Cumulative global sales of Toyota hybrid vehicles topped the 4-million-unit mark at the end of April this year.
As of the end of October 2012, there are 19 Toyota-produced hybrid vehicle models and one plug-in hybrid vehicle model available in approximately 80 countries and regions around the world. In Canada, Toyota and Lexus offer 10 of these hybrid vehicle models and one plug-in hybrid model.
Globally, Toyota plans to launch 21 new hybrid models by the end of 2015 and will make further efforts to expand its hybrid vehicle product lineup and sales territories. In Canada, the launch of the “Prius c” compact hybrid hatchback and rising awareness of hybrid vehicles have pushed the percentage of hybrid vehicles sold higher each year. Over 80 per cent of Canada’s hybrid vehicle sales are Toyota and Lexus models.
Toyota calculates that as of October 31, 2012, Toyota hybrid vehicles sold since 1997 have reduced CO2 emissions — considered to be a cause of climate change — by approximately 30 million tonnes worldwide compared to the amount of emissions from gasoline-powered vehicles of similar size and driving performance.
Furthermore, Toyota estimates that its hybrid vehicles have saved approximately 11 million litres of gasoline worldwide compared to the amount used by gasoline-powered vehicles of similar size.
Toyota believes that hybrid technology is the core vehicle technology of the twenty-first century, and will enable the development of the next generation of environmentally responsible vehicles by serving as the platform for plug-ins, electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Toyota will work to continuously improve hybrid vehicle performance and expand its hybrid vehicle lineup while reducing costs, in order to offer a wide-range of vehicles to suit the needs of as many consumers as possible.