Toyota, creator of the Prius and the Mirai fuel cell vehicle, has announced that it achieved more than 10 million cumulative units of hybrid vehicle sales globally, including plug-in hybrids, as of Jan. 31. As reported, the latest milestone was achieved just nine months after total sales reached 9 million units at the end of April 2016.
Toyota Motor North America also saw its sales of hybrids and plug-in hybrids reach a cumulative total, exceeding 3 million units as of Dec. 31, 2016.
“The Prius stands as an icon for sustainability and efficiency and is a shining example of what you can achieve when you have the right idea to help solve a problem,” says Bob Carter, senior vice president of automotive operations for Toyota Motor North America. “Hybrids remain an important part of our lineup of vehicles, with over 246,000 units sold last year, and we have seen continued demand with the release of the RAV4 Hybrid variant of the popular compact SUV, accounting for nearly 13 percent of its total sales volume in 2016.”
“When we launched Prius, no one even knew what a hybrid was, but thanks to early adopters, hybrids have ridden a wave of success into the mainstream,” says Takeshi Uchiyamada, known as the father of the Prius and co-chairman of the board of directors at Toyota. “We are grateful to each and every one of our customers who have helped us achieve this important [global] milestone.”
As of Jan. 31, Toyota estimates that the use of Toyota’s hybrid vehicles, as an alternative to conventional gasoline-powered vehicles of similar size and driving performance, has resulted in approximately 77 million fewer tons of CO2 emissions and saved approximately 7.66 million gallons of gasoline.
More than a numerical milestone, the results demonstrate the staying power of hybrid powertrain technology, which has emerged as a mainstream solution to help reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and other pollutants. Toyota says this achievement builds on the belief that widespread adoption of more environmentally friendly vehicles can make a significant positive impact worldwide.