Who knew when the first little dowdy if not geeky Toyota Prius Hybrid arrived on our shores in 2000, that they would not only become a common sight on our roads, but a top seller in the mainstream.
In a significant milestone to tout, Toyota announced its hybrid vehicle sales totaled four million units globally as of April 2012. While this includes markets outside the United States, the number is compelling when you consider it was only a dozen years ago the product was introduced here.
Toyota currently sells 18 hybrid vehicles around the world, 10 of which are available in America from both the Toyota and Lexus nameplates. This year, hybrid vehicle accounted for 15 percent of Toyota’s global vehicle sales.
The company sold 1.5 of the 4 million hybrid vehicles here, accounting for 65 percent of all hybrid vehicles sold in the States. The Toyota Prius is of course the most iconic, comprising half of all hybrids on the road in America.
Building on that iconic success Toyota has wisely expended the Prius brand by adding additional models to the family including the compact Prius c, the Prius Plug-In and the larger Prius v wagon.
Toyota stated that it calculates that the total number of its hybrid vehicles sold globally since 1997 have produced to approximately 26 million fewer tons of C02 emissions than would have been emitted by gasoline-powered vehicles of similar size and driving performance.
While Toyota has lead the hybrid car movement, companies like Ford have been close in second place with an expanding array of models in the past few years. Other brands like Nissan, Honda, Kia, Hyundai and General Motors have joined the fray but not nearly to the same degree.