The Toyota Motor Corporation announced recently that by the end of February 2011 cumulative, worldwide sales of their hybrid vehicles had topped 3 million units. The benchmark number represents sales the total history of sales of all of Toyota’s hybrid vehicles such as minivans, SUVs, and sedans.
The company launched two hybrid cars in 1997, including the Prius, but North American and European sales didn’t begin until 2000. In May of 2009, Toyota announced that 2 million hybrid units had been sold. Currently, the automaker sells sixteen different hybrid models in around 80 countries around the world, including three commercial vehicles in Japan.
By the end of 2012, Toyota hopes to introduce ten new hybrid vehicles, four of which are redesigns and six which are new models. According to Toyota’s research, the CO2 emissions offset by their hybrid cars from August 1997 to February 2011 have resulted in 18 million fewer tons of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Late last year, the company announced a five year eco-car plan, and seems to be on-track for achieving their goals. At this year’s Geneva Auto Show, Toyota debuted several new vehicles, including upgrades to the Prius, Yaris, and the iQ EV concept car. One of the earliest large-scale innovators of hybrids, it will be interesting to see what Toyota releases in the future as sales continue to climb.