Toyota Global Hybrid Sales Hit 10 Million
The original Toyota Prius launched in 1997 as the world’s first mass-produced hybrid car. It took 10 years for the automaker to sell its first million hybrid cars, but over the same period after that it sold a whopping nine million hybrids, finally surpassing 10 million sales as of January 31, 2017—just nine months after total sales had reached nine million units at the end of April 2016.
Thanks to this, Toyota estimates that as of the end of last month, the use of its hybrid vehicles had resulted in 77 million fewer tons of CO2 emissions compared to conventional gas-powered vehicles of similar size and performance. It also estimates that Toyota hybrid vehicles have saved around 7.66 million gallons of gasoline.
Related: 2017 Toyota Prius overview
What started as just the Toyota Prius has grown into something far bigger today. Since 1997, Toyota has developed hybrid versions for around 40 of its models and has now recently begun to tap into the plug-in hybrid market. Takeshi Uchiyamada, Chairman of Toyota Motor Corporation and “father of the Prius,” expects the Prius Prime and Toyota’s other plug-in offerings to catch on with consumers far more quickly than the original Prius did.
“Environmental awareness has become a bigger issue today than it was 20 years ago, and demand for environmentally conscious products has increased,” Uchiyamada told reporters at a Prius Prime launch event in Japan.
In addition, the technology for plug-ins is developing more rapidly than the technology for hybrids had in 1997, though the real appeal may be the following: plug-in hybrids offer a compromise between hybrids and electrics, with better efficiency and cleaner emissions than regular hybrids but without the range anxiety associated with all-electric cars.
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