Toyota has sold more than 15 million hybrid-electric vehicles (HEVs) worldwide since the 1997 launch of the iconic Prius, the first full hybrid mass-produced car. Now offered on 44 individual models across a wide range of size and body types, Toyota’s hybrid electric technology has reduced CO2 emissions by more than 120 million tonnes worldwide.
In Europe, sales of HEVs have passed the 2.8 million mark with a range of 19 different HEV models on offer across the Toyota and Lexus brands, which in 2019 accounted for 52% of total volume, and 63% in West Europe.
Beyond the current 4th generation hybrid system, Toyota is continuing to refine its hybrid technology to achieve even lower emissions and ever-better fuel efficiency.
While Toyota believes that HEVs are an essential part of the future overall mix of electrified vehicles, two decades of electrification experience also feed into the company’s mutli-powertrain strategy. The company provides and will continue to provide various types of electrified vehicles to reduce emissions based on regulations, market infrastructure and ultimately customer demand. Toyota does not see a one ‘winner takes all’ scenario but a future where the different electrified technologies, including hybrids and plug-ins (PHEV), fuel cell (FCEV) and battery electric (BEV) vehicles, all play a part.
Of course, we must work hard on improving battery performance and lowering costs (of BEVs), which we are doing. But we must avoid having no plan until we overcome the hurdles related to both BEVs and FCEVs. In the meantime, we can contribute by continuing our work on HEVs.—Shigeki Terashi, chief competitive officer and chief project officer, Toyota Motor Corporation
As a result of its long hybrid electric vehicle experience, the company has deep transferable expertise in the core electrification technologies which are common across all form of electrified powertrains, putting them in pole position for an electrified future. More than two decades of continuous development of electric motors, batteries and power control units has taught Toyota how to manage and reuse energy efficiently, providing a range of electrified options for Toyota and Lexus customers through HEVs, PHEVs, BEVs and FCEVs.