Toyota launched their hybrid Prius in late 1997. 13 years later, Toyota has sold a total of about 2.6m hybrids, says The Nikkei [sub]. That mostly because it is the top selling car in Japan. And also “thanks to government subsidies that favor hybrids over other fuel-efficient cars,” as Automotive News [sub] remarks. Toyota doesn’t want to rest on its laurels.
Toyota told the Nikkei today that they want to achieve in less than 5 years what took them 13 years: Sell another 2.4m hybrids, for total accumulated hybrid sales of 5 million vehicles worldwide by the end of fiscal 2015.
That’s what it says in Toyota’s ‘Environmental Action Plan’, which outlines the steps it intends to take until March 2016, to supposedly “lessen the environmental impact of its business.” It is purely coincidental that 2016, a government mandated fuel efficiency of 35.5 miles per gallon will be in effect in the U.S.A.
Toyota wants to sell at least a million hybrid vehicles a year in the early part of this decade. In the 2020s, there should be a hybrid option across the whole Toyota lineup.