Total global sales of Toyota and Lexus full hybrid vehicles have topped the 4 million mark as of April 30. Cumulative sales of full hybrid vehicles in Europe reached 423,000 units. In the UK the number is 94,000.
Toyota became leaders in the development of hybrid cars as a response to environmental issues, the company believing that low emission vehicles can only have a positive impact if they are used widely.
It Started with a Bus
The Toyota Prius, famously the world’s first mass-produced hybrid passenger vehicle, was launched in December, 1997 in Japan, but the first hybrid vehicles was actually a bus, the Toyota Coaster Hybrid EV which was introduced to the Japanese market in August, 1997.
Sales of the Prius began in Europe,North America and elsewhere in 2000. The second generation Toyota 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 saloons and family hatchbacks. The third-generation Prius launched in May 2009 and was a hit with customers around the world, leading to global cumulative sales of Toyota hybrid vehicles topping 3 million vehicles by the end of February, 2011.
Different Shapes and Sizes and Made in Europe
As Toyota’s hybrid range expanded so came localised production such as the UK built Toyota Auris Hybrid 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.
Globally, Toyota currently sells 19 full hybrid passenger vehicle models in approximately 80 countries. This year, hybrid vehicles have accounted for 15% of Toyota’s global vehicle sales.
Saving for the Future
Toyota estimates its full hybrid vehicles have led to a saving of approximately 26 million tonnes1 in CO2 emissions compared to what would have been emitted by petrol or diesel powered 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 consumers.
1 Number of registered vehicles × ave distance travelled × fuel saved × CO2 conversion factor
Notes to the editors:
Toyota Motor Corporation hybrid timeline:
|1997||Mar||Toyota Hybrid System (THS) unveiled|
|Aug||Coaster Hybrid EV launched (Japanonly)|
|2000||Nov||Start of full hybrid sales inEurope; Cumulative Prius sales top 50,000 vehicles|
|2001||Jun||Estima (Previa) Hybrid launched (Japanonly)|
|Aug||Crown Mild Hybrid launched (Japanonly)|
|2002||Mar||Cumulative hybrid vehicle sales top 100,000 mark|
|Aug||Cumulative Prius sales top 100,000 vehicles|
|2003||Apr||Toyota Hybrid System II (THS II) unveiled|
|Jul||Alphard Hybrid launched (Japanonly)|
|Sep||Second-generation Prius launched|
|Nov||Dyna Hybrid and Toyoace Hybrid launched (Japanonly)|
|2005||Mar||Harrier Hybrid (RX 400h) and Kluger Hybrid (Highlander Hybrid) launched|
|Oct||Cumulative hybrid vehicle sales top 500,000 mark|
|Dec||Second-generation Prius production commenced at theChangchunplant inChina|
|2006||Mar||GS 450h launched inJapan|
|Apr||Cumulative Prius sales top 500,000 vehicles|
|May||Camry Hybrid launched (for sale outsideJapan)|
|Jun||Redesigned Estima Hybrid launched (Japanonly)|
|Oct||Camry Hybrid production commenced at the TMMK’s Kentucky Plant,U.S.; Quick Delivery 200 launched (Japanonly)|
|2007||May||Cumulative hybrid vehicle sales top 1 million mark; LS 600h/LS 600hL launched|
|2008||Feb||Crown Hybrid unveiled (launched in April;Japanonly)|
|May||Cumulative Prius sales top 1 million vehicles|
|2009||Jan||RX 450h unveiled (launched in April)|
|May||Third-generation Prius launched|
|Jul||Camry Hybrid production commenced at the TMT’s Gateway Plant,Thailand; HS 250h launched|
|Aug||Cumulative hybrid vehicle sales top 2 million mark|
|Oct||Sai unveiled (launched in December, Japan only)|
|Dec||Camry Hybrid production commenced at the TMCA’sAltona Plant,Australia|
|2010||Apr||Camry Hybrid production commenced at the GTMC’s plant inChina|
|Jun||Auris Hybrid production commenced at the TMUK’sBurnaston Plant,UK; Auris Hybrid launched (for sale outsideJapan)|
|Jul||Cumulative sales in Japan of TMC hybrids top 1 million vehicles|
|Sep||Cumulative Prius sales top 2 million vehicles|
|Nov||Third-generation Prius production commenced at TMT’s GatewayPlant,Thailand|
|2011||Jan||Annual Prius sales inJapanof new vehicles in 2010 were 315,669 vehicles, the largest amount of annual sales ever recorded; CT 200h unveiled|
|Feb||Cumulative hybrid vehicle sales top 3 million mark|
|May||Prius α launched|
|Aug||Prius sales inJapantop 1 million mark; Camry Hybrid unveiled; Hybrid models of the Alphard and Vellfire added (launched in November, Japan only);|
|Oct||TMEC of China conducts cornerstone laying ceremony and announces plan to produce and sell vehicles with hybrid system produced inChinajointly with China FAW Group and GAC by around 2015|
|Nov||Prius PHV unveiled (launched in January 2012 inJapanand March in theU.S.and scheduled for launch inEuropein the summer of 2012)|
|Dec||Production of third-generation Prius commenced at SFTM’s Changchun Plant inChina; Aqua unveiled|
|2012||Jan||Redesigned GS 450h launched|
|Feb||Start of Highlander Hybrid production at Indiana Plant in theU.S.in the second half of 2013 announced; production and sale of Camry Hybrid inTaiwancommenced|
|Apr||Cumulative hybrid vehicle sales top 4 million mark|