CLEANER POWER TO THE PEOPLE: TOYOTA REACHES 200,000 PETROL-ELECTRIC HYBRID SALES IN THE UK
In a world focused on finding cleaner ways to power cars, Toyota has established unrivalled leadership in petrol-electric hybrid technology. In fact, we have just passed the milestone of selling 200,000 petrol-electric hybrids to UK customers.
It’s a head-start on the competition not just in terms of sales volumes, but also in technical know-how. The hybrids we sell today are more fuel and emissions-efficient than we ever dared hope possible back in 2000 when the first, original Prius saloons reached Britain’s roads. True to our core principle of kaizen – constant improvement – we have made our hybrid systems smaller, lighter, more powerful and more rewarding to drive. Along the way, a lot less fuel has been used and far fewer harmful emissions have been pumped into the atmosphere, compared to the impact of 200,000 comparable petrol or diesel cars.
What’s more, all our vehicles are “full” hybrids, which means they can run on electric power alone, shutting off the petrol engine when it isn’t needed. That makes them fundamentally more efficient than the “mild” hybrid systems many manufacturers are turning to, in which the engine is always running when the vehicle is in motion. And unlike all-electric, battery-powered cars, there’s no down-time spent recharging from a power point and no concerns about whether you will have enough energy in reserve to reach your destination.
Back in 2000, there were just 184 UK Prius customers, people who shared our vision for a better, cleaner way of driving. In 2017 alone, our hybrid sales have already passed 29,000 units, reflecting how the technology is consolidating its position firmly in the motoring mainstream. The acceleration in sales has been influenced by many different factors, not least general public concern for environmental issues – particularly air quality and the effect of greenhouse gases. The Government has played its part, too, with initiatives to promote the take-up of cleaner, more efficient transport.
For our part, as well as improving the performance of our hybrids, we have also tailored the technology for use in many different types of vehicle, reaching a wider customer base. For example, Yaris Hybrid remains unique in its class as a hybrid supermini, while the RAV4 Hybrid shows how the technology can be successfully applied in a compact SUV, with the added benefit of all-wheel drive capability.
At the heart of the market the British built Auris is the top-selling Toyota hybrid in the UK and Europe. Currently more than 70 per cent of new Auris sales are for hybrids, with a similar figure for the new C-HR crossover. The new Prius, the fourth generation of our hybrid pioneer, has made the greatest leaps yet in terms of fuel and emissions efficiency, while the new Prius Plug-in enables emissions-free, all-electric driving at higher speeds and for longer distances. Completing the current UK range, Prius+ is a family-friendly seven-seat hybrid MPV.
Our hybrid technology is also the foundation for Mirai, our revolutionary hydrogen fuel cell saloon. Using hydrogen fuel to generate electric power on-board, it is a genuine zero emission vehicle, producing nothing other than pure water when driven.