Toyota Motor Corp said in Japan that its global hybrid vehicle sales topped four million units through April of this year.
Of those, 1.5 million hybrids have been sold in the U.S.
Toyota said that it currently sells 18 hybrid passenger vehicles in 80 countries and regions around the world, and that so far this year, hybrids have accounted for 15% of global sales.
Toyota’s first hybrid passenger car, the Prius liftback, went on sale in Japan in 1997. “Hybrid technology was later introduced to the U.S. in 2000 with the arrival of the Prius,” Toyota said.
The 1.5 million U.S units since then accounted for “65% of all hybrid vehicles sold in the region,” Toyota said. “Prius, the iconic hybrid brand, comprises half of all hybrids on the road in the U.S. with sales totaling 1.2 million units through April 2012.”
The larger Prius V hit the U.S. market in November 2011 followed by the smaller Prius C and Prius Plug-in during the first quarter 2012. “In that time, Prius family sold 60,859 units in the U.S.,” the company said in a May 22 release.
“All of us at Toyota would like to sincerely thank our customers, who have made Prius the best-selling hybrid in the industry,” said Bob Carter, group VP and Toyota division GM. “While we’re proud of this accomplishment, we are not stopping here as hybrids will continue to be a core technology for Toyota.”
Toyota’s other U.S. hybrid models include versions of the Camry and Highlander, with larger displacement applications of Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive.
Toyota calculates that the total number of its hybrid vehicles sold globally since 1997 have produced to approximately 26 million fewer tons of carbon dioxide emissions than would have been emitted by gasoline-powered vehicles of similar size and driving performance.
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