Toyota Motor Company, who pioneered the hybrid electric vehicle (HEV), has achieved a new milestone for its hybrid models. Since the Toyota Prius made its debut in 1997, Toyota has sold 15 million hybrids worldwide, cumulative of both Toyota and Lexus models brands. Toyota says that the largest share of its hybrid sales comes from Europe. Of the 15 million (1.5 crore) hybrid units sold, Europe contributed to 2.8 million units (a fifth of worldwide sales).
The UK has been the leading hybrid market for Toyota where it sold 3,56,000 units by the end of March 2020. Currently, Toyota claims that hybrid models account for two-thirds of all Toyota models sold in the UK. Toyota recently launched the Yaris hybrid in the UK which has become the best selling hybrid model leaving the Prius behind. Toyota is also gearing up to introduce an all-new Yaris later this year with its latest fourth-generation hybrid technology.
Takeshi Uchiyamada and his team began envisioning the hybrid vehicle 25 years ago. The brief was to develop a vehicle that would offer lesser tailpipe emissions and in 1997, the Prius was born. While the Prius was already on sale in many markets, it was only introduced in Europe in 2000. Since the Prius’ have hit the road, Toyota estimates that it has been able to save 120 million tonnes of CO2 emissions compared to equivalent petrol vehicles.
Toyota believes the future will see Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV), Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV), battery electric vehicles (BEV) and Fuel-Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV) will all play a part. Toyota is planning to introduce 40 new or updated hybrid or specified models globally by 2025, while at least 10 models are said to be “Zero Emission vehicles” which could be BEVs or FCEVs.
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