Toyota announced that as of the end of July, they have sold 1 million hybrid vehicles in Japan, which adds up to 2.68 million hybrids finding homes globally. The company claims that its hybrids have offset approximately 4 million tonnes of CO2 emissions in Japan and 15 million tonnes globally, compared to standard petrol engine cars of a similar size and performance.
Future targets include selling 1 million hybrid vehicles per year “as early as possible in the 2010s” and introducing hybrid variants in all vehicle ranges in its lineup “as early as possible in the 2020s”.
Toyota launched their first hybrid vehicle in 1997 – the Coaster Hybrid EV minibus which is currently being sold in Australia and Hong Kong. This was followed by the release of the first generation Prius, the world’s first mass produced hybrid vehicle using a 1.5-litre DOHC engine and an electric motor. The Prius has since grown to be a green car icon in its third generation now. Branded as Hybrid Synergy Drive, Toyota’s hybrid drivetrain resides in the SAI, Camry and Lexus models.