The number of Toyota hybrids sold moves past six million, as sales speed up

While electric car sales may not be lighting up the world, the steady progress of Toyota's hybrid power technology has reached another landmark with cumulative global sales of Toyota hybrid vehicles reaching 6.072 million units at the end of December 2013.

Sales are speeding up as this latest latest million-mark has been reached in the fastest time yet, just nine months since the figure moved past five million.

Toyota recognises that its cleaner, efficient technologies can only truly make a positive impact if they are widely used, hence its on-going efforts to encourage the mass-market take-up of its hybrid vehicles.

Toyota currently offers 24 hybrid passenger car models and one plug-in hybrid in around 80 countries and regions around the world. In the UK, home to production of the hybrid versions of Auris and Auris Touring Sports, the range extends to 10 Toyota and Lexus hybrids, plus the Prius Plug-in.

Over the next two years, the car giant will launch 15 new hybrids as well as entering new markets.

According to its own analysis, Toyota calculates that, as of 31 December 2013, its hybrid vehicles have reduced the amount of CO2 entering the atmosphere by approximately 41 million tonnes, compared to the impact the same number of equivalent petrol-powered vehicles would have. On the same basis, it also estimates its hybrids have saved around 15,000 million litres of petrol.

This analysis doesn't take into account the whole of life carbon footprint of the hybrid range which includes raw material extraction, design process, manufacture and transport to market, and only focuses on the carbon emissions of the vehicles once running.

Toyota entered hybrid vehicle production in August 1997 with the launch in Japan of the Coast Hybrid EV bus, followed in December by the first generation Prius, the world's first mass-produced hybrid car.

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