Toyota, together with its Lexus luxury brand, has now sold more than five million hybrid vehicles globally since 1997.
Led by the Prius, which has become one of the world's best-selling cars, 20 different hybrid models--including the first Toyota plug-in hybrid--have been sold by Toyota in around 80 countries and regions. Within the next two years, Toyota plans to introduce 18 more new hybrids and a fuel cell vehicle.
In terms of environmental impact, Toyota calculates that its hybrid vehicles have emitted 34 million tons less carbon dioxide compared to the same number of petroleum-powered vehicles of similar size and performance. In terms of fuel consumption, the Japanese carmaker estimates that its vehicles have saved 1.2 billion liters of fuel on the same basis.
"We developed the first-generation Prius with the aim of making it a car for the 21st century and as an indication of Toyota's response to environmental issues," said Toyota Motor Corporation vice chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada, who was responsible for the development of the first-generation Prius. "The launch of the first Prius had effects beyond our expectations, with the vehicle increasing consumer environmental awareness and raising hybrid vehicle expectations. The understanding of consumers at launch time laid the foundation for the widespread adoption, and since then, consumers have continued to support TMC hybrid vehicles. For this, I am extremely grateful."