Hybrid to replace all diesel engines at Toyota this year
Toyota is phasing out the diesel engines from its passenger car range by the end of 2018, following a year where almost seven times more customers chose a hybrid in the UK.
In 2017, Toyota Motor Europe registrations rose 38% to 406,000 units, of which hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) made up 41% of total sales. In contrast, diesel made up less than 10% of registrations during the same year. Registrations have become increasingly weighted towards hybrids since 2015, when sales were split evenly between hybrids and diesels.
In the UK, Toyota sold 101,692 units last year, of which hybrids made up 45,803 units – equating to 45%, similar to Europe. However, diesel registrations came to under 7,000 units – less than 7%.
The new-generation Auris – debuted at Geneva – will be offered only with petrol and HEV powertrains; as with the C-HR in 2016, there will be no diesel version. Engine line-up for the Auris will bring the 121bhp 1.8-litre HEV drivetrain from the C-HR and Prius along with a 114bhp 1.2-litre turbo petrol and a 178bhp 2.0-litre HEV.
Product plans beyond 2018 are unconfirmed, a spokesperson said, but the plans will involve phasing out the Avensis, Verso and diesel RAV4 – in the case of the latter, HEV sales outsell the petrol/diesel models two to one. Toyota will continue to offer diesel engines in commercial vehicles (including Hilux, Proace and Land Cruiser) to meet customer needs.
Johan van Zyl, president and CEO of Toyota Motor Europe, said: “Toyota’s HEV mix in passenger cars reached equality with the diesel mix in 2015. Since then, HEV sales have substantially exceeded those of our diesels. In commercial vehicles, where personal and business needs (for example, torque and payload) remain, we will continue to offer the latest-technology diesels.”