On November 8, Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announced that cumulative sales in Japan of its hybrid vehicles have reached 2.04 million units as of October 31 of this year.
Globally, cumulative sales of TMC-produced hybrid vehicles—since the first was launched in 1997—have now topped 4.60 million units, with 1.02 million selling from January 1 through October 31 this year.
Positioning response to environmental issues as a management priority and based on the belief that environment-friendly vehicles can only truly have a positive impact if they are used widely, Toyota has endeavored to promote the mass-market adoption of hybrid vehicles.
In 1997 in Japan, TMC launched the “Coaster Hybrid EV” gasoline-electric hybrid minibus in August and the world's first mass-produced hybrid passenger vehicle, the “Prius”, the following December. 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 TMC-produced 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 TMC-produced hybrid passenger car models and one plug-in hybrid vehicle model available in approximately 80 countries and regions around the world. In Japan, TMC produces 15 hybrid passenger car models and one plug-in hybrid vehicle model.
Globally, Toyota plans to launch 20 new hybrid models by the end of 2015 and will make further efforts to expand its hybrid vehicle product lineup and sales territories. In Japan, the launch of the “Aqua” hybrid compact hatchback and rising awareness of hybrid vehicles have pushed the percentage of hybrid vehicles sold higher each year. Approximately 40 per cent of Toyota’s sales in Japan and 14 per cent of global sales are hybrid vehicles.
Toyota calculates that as of October 31, 2012, TMC-produced hybrid vehicles sold since 1997 have reduced CO2 emissions—considered to be a cause of climate change—by approximately 30 million tons worldwide and approximately nine million tonnes in Japan compared to the amount of emissions from gasoline-powered vehicles of similar size and driving performance.
Furthermore, Toyota estimated that its hybrid vehicles have saved approximately 11 million liters of gasoline (approximately 55,000 200-litre drums) worldwide compared to the amount used by gasoline-powered vehicles of similar size.
Toyota positions hybrid technologies that enable the use of different fuel combinations—including all component technologies necessary for various types of eco-cars—as core environmental technologies for the twenty-first century.
In addition to the development of eco-cars beyond hybrids, Toyota will continue to work to raise hybrid vehicle performance and expand its hybrid vehicle lineup while reducing costs, so as to offer a wide-range of vehicles to suit as many consumers as possible.
By Hoang Anh