Toyota Prius reaches three million worldwide sales milestone
First launched in Japan in 1997, the flagship model for Toyota’s hybrid power technology has seen its official CO2 emissions figures have fallen from 114 to 89g/km and the cost of its hybrid powertrain has been reduced by two-thirds over three generations of models.
Meanwhile the Prius has expanded in the last two years from being a single model to a family of vehicles to meet the needs of a wider customer base. In Europe these include Prius+, the world’s first full hybrid seven-seat MPV, and Prius Plug-in, the first Toyota to embrace rechargeable lithium-ion battery technology for extended zero-emissions electric power capability. In North America and other world markets, the smaller Prius c/Toyota Aqua has also been launched – bringing hybrid to a market segment that’s covered in Europe by Yaris Hybrid.
Toyota continues to make significant investments that will help secure sustainable global growth for its hybrid technology. In the financial year ending in March 2014, it is expected to spend more than €5.9bn (¥790bn) on research and development and facilities for developing hybrid and other cutting edge technologies, as well as strengthening development of new platforms and components.
Projects include a new 651-hectare R&D facility and a new 12-storey powertrain Development and Engineering building in Toyota City.