In January 2020, Toyota passed the milestone of more than 15 million hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) sales worldwide since the Prius was first launched in 1997.
Toyota’s decision to develop hybrid electric vehicles started over 25 years ago when Takeshi Uchiyamada led a team to develop a car for the 21st century, one which would reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other harmful pollutants. The first-generation Prius was launched in 1997 around the time of the Kyoto Protocol signing, which gave new momentum to the environmental movement.
Today, 15 million hybrid sales later, Toyota has made a significant contribution to the environment as its hybrid electric technology has reduced CO2 emissions by more than 120 million tonnes worldwide to date compared to sales of equivalent petrol vehicles. The company’s original vision has allowed Toyota to be the leader in meeting increasingly stringent emissions regulations around the world.
Across this period, Toyota has seen demand for its hybrid electric vehicles soar as the company has combined this innovative technology with emotional design enabled by the roll-out of its TNGA global platforms. Beyond the current 4th generation hybrid system, Toyota is continuing to refine its hybrid technology to achieve even lower emissions and ever-better fuel efficiency. Today, hybrid electric vehicles are affordable, accessible and convenient for customers in the Middle East.
Hybrid naturally leads to BEV and FCEV
While Toyota believes that HEVs are an essential part of the future overall mix of electrified vehicles, two decades of electrification experience also feed into the company’s multi-powertrain strategy. The company provides and will continue to provide various types of electrified vehicles to reduce emissions based on regulations, market infrastructure and ultimately customer demand. Toyota does not see a one ‘winner takes all’ scenario but a future where the different electrified technologies, including hybrids and plug-ins (PHEV), fuel cell (FCEV) and battery electric (BEV) vehicles, all play a part.
As a result of its long hybrid electric vehicle experience, the company has deep transferable expertise in the core electrification technologies which are common across all form of electrified powertrains, putting them in pole position for an electrified future. Over two decades of continuous development of electric motors, batteries and power control units has taught Toyota how to manage and reuse energy efficiently, providing a range of electrified options for customers through HEVs, PHEVs, BEVs and FCEVs.
In Kuwait since launching the Prius HEV model in February 2016, Mohamed Naser Al Sayer & Sons has launched 6 popular Toyota HEV models including the recently launched Toyota C-HR Cross-over and Highlander SUV.