Toyota has been ranked as one of the most environmentally friendly car companies, mostly due to its leading position in the development and production of hybrid gas-electric vehicles. It has however shied away from a more robust push into battery electric cars, at least until superior energy storage it and others are developing come on line, and Toyota is touting hyogen fuel cell vehicles “for the next 100 years.”

The green hue surrounding the Toyota brand began in earnest with the Prius. As the quintessential gas-electric hybrid, it can be traced all the way back to 1992 when the company committed to a corporate “Earth Charter.” The Toyota Prius was introduced in Japan in 1997 and brought to the United States in 2000. Since that time, Toyota has sold more hybrids than all other car companies combined. While Toyota remains committed to hybrids, the company is motivated as much by profitability as by protecting the planet. Environmental groups have criticized Toyota for introducing large pickup trucks and SUVs in recent years, as well as dragging its heels on plug-in cars. Nonetheless, company executives openly talk about diminishing global oil supplies

They see greener cars comprised of a portfolio of hybrids, and progressively more fuel cell and plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles over the decades to come into the 21st century.

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