Toyota has made hybrid technology a key component of its business plan and company personality since it first launched the Prius back in 1997. The Prius was the first mass-produced gas-electric hybrid vehicle on the road, and it has been at the forefront of hybrid culture ever since. Nearly a quarter-century later, Toyota continues to be one of the leaders in the green space, a fact backed up by a recently reached milestone. Toyota, including Lexus, has now sold more than 15 million hybrids worldwide.
Although hybrids initially earned a reputation as quirky vehicles lacking, er, enthusiasm, the word is no longer a harsh restrictor. Today, Toyota has a fairly big lineup of vehicles with varying levels of hybridization and diverse purposes. In total, Toyota of America offers eight different hybrids, including the fuel cell Mirai. The bunch includes a small sedan, a large sedan, a premium large sedan, a two-row crossover, a three-row crossover, and two flavors of Prius hatchback. Plus, Tundra and Tacoma hybrid pickup trucks are also expected in the not-so-distant future.
Adding to the Toyota portfolio, Lexus of America also offers several hybrid choices in the forms of the UX, NX, and RX crossovers; the ES and LS sedans; and the sporty LC coupe. Globally, Toyota and Lexus offer 44 different hybrid vehicles, and in Europe, hybrids accounted for 52% of total volume in 2019.
"It is thanks to our hybrid sales that Toyota is well on its way to meeting the 95g/km target set by the EU for 2020 and 2021 in Europe, where CO2 regulations are the toughest in the world," Executive Vice President of Toyota Motor Europe Matt Harrison said. "In addition, our full hybrids are also incredibly effective at running without emissions for the majority of the time in cities."
In the future, Toyota plans to continue producing mild and full plug-in hybrids, but they will be part of a broader initiative that will include fully electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. In Europe, Toyota will introduce 40 new or updated electrified vehicles by 2025. Read more about the Toyota's upcoming electric vehicles in our previous report.