Since the launch of the Toyota Coaster Hybrid EV coach in August 1997 and the introduction of the first-generation Prius - the world's first mass-produced hybrid - in December the same year, Toyota has successfully propelled hybrid technology from automotive niche towards the mainstream, an achievement demonstrated by an acceleration in sales that has seen more than a million new hybrids being added to the sales total since August 2009.
Around the world Toyota currently offers 16 hybrids in around 80 countries, including MPVs, saloons, hatchbacks and SUVs, plus three commercial vehicles in Japan.
The rate of growth is expected to quicken further, as Toyota prepares for the introduction of 10 new hybrids in world markets by the end of 2012, including six new vehicles and four redesigned models. The company is committed to building this line-up further and also expanding the number of world markets in which its hybrids are available.
As of the end of February this year, Toyota calculates that its hybrid sales have led to approximately 18 million fewer tons of CO2 emissions than would have been produced by gasoline-powered vehicles of comparable size and performance.