By Steve Laser
Seventeen years since launching its first hybrid vehicle, Toyota has reached yet another sales milestone with seven million sold worldwide. While the Prius remains its most successful hybrid to date, it wasn’t the first. That credit goes to the Japanese Coaster Hybrid EV bus launched in August 1997. Prius production began in December of that year and the rest, as they say, is history.
How many hybrid models does Toyota sell today? Well, there’s four different models of the Prius in the U.S., plus the Camry, Avalon and Highlander hybrids. Lexus, of course, offers quite a few hybrids including the CT, ES, GS, LS, RX and new NX.
Truth be told, there are 28 different Toyota and Lexus hybrids sold worldwide with some names that are foreign to Americans. Have you heard of the Toyota Alphard, Auris or Vellfire hybrids? How about the Voxy, Noah or Crown Majesta?
It’s possible that in the not too distant future, a hybrid powertrain will find its way into all of Toyota’s models. In the meantime, congratulations are in order to Toyota for making the word “hybrid” a household name.
Below is the press release from Toyota UK announcing this major milestone.
Toyota Marks Seven Million Global Hybrid Sales
14 October 2014
The pace of Toyota’s worldwide hybrid vehicle sales continues to accelerate with a further million units added in just nine months, taking the cumulative total through the seven-million mark. At the end of September the number reached 7.053 million.
The results bear witness to Toyota’s commitment to help mitigate the impact of motor vehicles on the environment by encouraging the mass-market adoption of cleaner, more efficient hybrids.
Toyota’s hybrid range continues to grow, with 28 different passenger car models (including the Prius Plug-in Hybrid) currently sold in more than 90 countries and regions. The new model strategy for 2014-2015 features 15 new hybrids, including in the UK the new Lexus NX 300h crossover and RC 300h coupe. In the future, more new markets and models will be added.
Toyota calculates that as of 30 September, Toyota hybrid vehicles have reduced the amount of CO2 entering the atmosphere – believed to be a cause of global warming – by approximately 49 million tonnes, compared to the impact the same number of equivalent petrol-powered vehicles would have. On the same basis, it also estimates its hybrids have saved around 18,000 million liters of petrol.
Toyota entered hybrid vehicle production in 1997 with the launch in Japan of the Coaster Hybrid EV bus, followed in December by the first generation Prius, the world’s first mass-produced hybrid car. In the UK Prius launched Toyota’s hybrid market in 2000. Since then Toyota’s hybrids have enjoyed increasing support from customers around the world.
Toyota’s hybrid system is designed as a core technology that can be used in different forms to create environmentally efficient vehicles for different customer requirements. The company will continue to work to raise performance, reduce costs and expand its product lineup – including the introduction of environmentally efficient non-hybrid vehicles.
[Photos and press release from Toyota UK Newsroom]
Story intro ©2014 CarNichiWa