Global sales of Toyota and Lexus hybrids top four million
The Toyota Prius was launched in December, 1997 in Japan, but the first hybrid vehicles was actually a bus, the Toyota Coaster Hybrid EV which was introduced to the Japanese market in August, 1997.
Sales of the Prius began in Europe,North America and elsewhere in 2000. The second generation Toyota Prius was launched in 2003 at which point the company expanded the use of its full hybrid technology to vehicles such as minivans, SUV’s, luxury saloons and family hatchbacks. The third-generation Prius launched in May 2009 and was a hit with customers around the world, leading to global cumulative sales of Toyota hybrid vehicles topping 3 million vehicles by the end of February, 2011.
Toyota estimates its full hybrid vehicles have led to a saving of approximately 26 million tonnes1 in CO2 emissions compared to what would have been emitted by petrol or diesel powered vehicles of similar size and driving performance.