Japanese giant Toyota said it has sold more than 6 million hybrid vehicles since it launched the first such vehicle in 1997. Cumulative global sales of Toyota and Lexus hybrid vehicles as of December 31, 2013 reached 6.072 million units, with the latest million-unit milestone achieved in the fastest time yet, only nine months.
In August 1997 in Japan, Toyota launched the Coaster Hybrid EV, with the world’s first mass-produced hybrid passenger vehicle, the Prius, arriving in December that year. Since then, Toyota has consistently developed its hybrid vehicle lineup.
As of January 2014, Toyota sells 24 hybrid passenger car models and one plug-in hybrid model in approximately 80 countries and regions around the world. And the hybrid expansion is set to continue. Within the next two years, Toyota plans to launch a total of 15 new hybrid vehicles worldwide, including the new Harrier Hybrid in Japan on January 15, and the new Highlander Hybrid in the United States in the near future.
Furthermore, Toyota says it will expand availability of its hybrid vehicles in countries and regions around the globe.
According to Toyota, the 6 million hybrid vehicles sold since 1997 have helped reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 41 million tons that than would have been emitted by gasoline-powered vehicles of similar size and driving performance. The company also estimates that its hybrids have saved approximately 15 million kiloliters (3.96 billion gallons) of gasoline compared to the amount used by gasoline-powered vehicles of similar size.
By Dan Mihalascu