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Toyota Has Sold More Hybrids Than You Can Count

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2016 Prius spy shots

A spy shot of the 2016 Toyota Prius

Ten months ago, Toyota announced it had sold a grand total of 7 million hybrid units since the very first Prius began sales in Japan in 1997.

Now, the Japanese automaker is reporting 8 million hybrids sold, meaning an additional million have been moved in less than a year. With the industry reporting a slump in hybrid sales recently, this is surely excellent news for Toyota, which currently sells seven different hybrid models in the US and plans to add a hybrid RAV4 for the next model year.

2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

The 2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

This milestone got Toyota execs reminiscing. As Toyota Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada remembered, back in 1996 it took 49 days for his team to get the very first Prius prototype moving. “We had no idea what was wrong,” Takeshi reminisced, “so we worked late every night trying to figure it out. We finally got it to move around Christmas time, but it only went 500 meters!”

2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid OverviewNow, 20 years later, Toyota can claim approximately 58 million fewer tons of CO2 emissions because of its hybrids, as well as 22 million kiloliters of gasoline saved compared to similar-sized gas-powered vehicles. Technology is improving all the time, with the fourth-gen Prius rumored to boast a huge increase in efficiency. And while many automakers are investing time and money in EV technology, Toyota is sticking with a future filled with hybrids and hydrogen vehicles.

Today, Toyota sells a total of 30 hybrid passenger cars in more than 90 markets. And if the automaker has its way, consumers will be helping it reach the 10 million mark in the next year or two.