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Toyota total hybrid sales top 4m

2012-05-23 08:17

TOKYO, Japan - Total global sales of Toyota and Lexus full-hybrid vehicles topped four-million on April 30 2012.

Cumulative sales of full hybrids in Europe have reached 423 000 and, in the UK alone, 94 000.

Toyota says it became the leader in the development of hybrid cars as a response to environmental issues, believing low-emissions vehicles could have a positive impact only if used widely.

FIRST WAS A BUS

The Toyota Prius, famously the world’s first mass-produced hybrid car, was launched in December 1997 in Japan but the first hybrid vehicle was actually a bus, the Toyota Coaster Hybrid EV introduced to the Japanese market in August 1997.

Sales of the Prius began in Europe, North America and elsewhere in 2000. The second-generation Prius was launched in 2003 at which point the company expanded the use of its full hybrid technology to vehicles such as minivans, SUV’s, luxury sedans and family hatchbacks.

The third-generation Prius, launched in May 2009, was a hit with customers around the world, leading to global cumulative sales of Toyota hybrid vehicles topping three-million by the end of February, 2011.

As Toyota’s hybrid range expanded so followed localised production such as the UK-built Toyota Auris Hybrid(V) and upcoming Toyota Yaris Hybrid which will be built in France. Later this year, the range will appeal to an even wider audience with the launch of the seven-seat Prius+ and Prius Plug-in Hybrid.

TOTAL EMISSIONS SAVED

Globally, Toyota currently sells 19 full-hybrid passenger vehicle models in 80 countries. So far in 2012 hybrid vehicles have accounted for 15% of Toyota’s global vehicle sales.

Toyota estimates its full hybrid vehicles have led to a saving of about 26-million tonnes* in vehicle CO2 emissions compared to what would have been emitted by petrol or diesel vehicles of similar size and driving performance.

Having positioned hybrid as a key technology, Toyota plans to continue working to further raise performance, reduce costs and expand its product line-up, including that of non-hybrid environment-friendly vehicles, to create vehicles that are popular with people and companies.

*Number of registered vehicles × average distance travelled × fuel saved × CO2 conversion factor