Hybrids go mainstream as sales reach turning point

TOYOTA delivered its 500,000th full hybrid vehicle in Europe, during a short handover ceremony in Noisy-le-Grand, close to Paris.

The 375,000 Toyota and 125,000 Lexus vehicles sold to date “are a clear demonstration that hybrid technology is now a mainstream proposition for European customers,” the producer reported.

Ever since the pioneering Prius was launched in Europe in 2000, sales of Toyota and Lexus hybrid vehicles have consistently grown, and today represent approximately 15 per cent of Toyota’s total sales volume.

Whilst the Prius, currently in its third generation, remains the most recognised hybrid on the road, Toyota and Lexus offer 10 different models for sale throughout Europe.

In 2012, the Prius family was expanded to include the seven-seater Prius+ and the Prius Plug-in, allowing for journeys of up to 1200 km without refuelling.

“With each successive new hybrid launch, especially in the important B and C segments with Yaris Hybrid and now with the new Auris Hybrid, we believe that hybrid technology has reached the tipping point in Europe,” Karl Schlicht, Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing, said.

“With the most advanced and widest range of full hybrid technology, covering both Toyota and Lexus brands, more and more customers enjoy the special feel of hybrid driving, along with knowing they are driving with very low CO2, while saving fuel and running costs. We are very determined to further lead the auto industry in democratising hybrids,” Schlicht added.

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