first mass production hybrid vehicle, the Prius, came from Toyota in
the late 1990s. The Prius was soon joined by several other hybrid
vehicles in the Japanese market including larger SUVs and vehicles
aimed at commercial use. Today, Toyota offers hybrid vehicles from
its luxury brand Lexus in the U.S. along with the Prius, Camry
Hybrid, and Highlander Hybrid.
Motor Company (TMC) has announced that in Japan the sales of hybrid
vehicles have topped
the million unit mark. The Prius was also the best
selling vehicle in Japan in 2009.Globally, Toyota
has sold over 2.68 million hybrid vehicles as of July 31, 2010. The
company currently sells eight hybrid vehicles outside Japan with
overseas sales for TMC at 1.68 million units. According to Toyota,
its hybrid vehicles have resulted in some significant savings in
greenhouse gas emissions. TMC figures that since 1997, its hybrids
have resulted in four million less tons of CO2 emissions in Japan
alone and 15 million fewer tons of CO2 produced globally.Toyota
has bigger plans still for its hybrid vehicle sales. The company
plans to sell a million hybrid vehicles per year during this decade
and add hybrid models to every vehicle in its line as early as 2020.
Toyota's iconic Prius hybrid was launched in 1997. More recently,
Toyota and electric vehicle maker Tesla have worked together on a new
plant and the development of hybrid and full-electric vehicles.
were also reports in May that a minivan
using Prius hybrid technology would be coming next spring.