What needs to be said about the maker of the Prius, and now three other Prius variants, and a slew of other globally top-selling hybrids besides?
The Japanese automaker is all about hybrids, and comparing total U.S. volume, it outsells the next-closest competitor by more than four to one – and this is counting only Toyota-badged cars, not including Lexus.
Toyota has said it will eventually apply its “Hybrid Synergy Drive Formula to variants of every one of its Toyota and Lexus-badged cars.
Which brings us to Lexus. In addition to six Toyotas accounting for 288,126 units sold in 2013, Toyota sells four Lexus hybrids that delivered 27,015 units.
The automaker is OK with plug-in hybrids, will improve the electric range for the plug-in Prius in 2015, but otherwise eschews electric cars, unless one counts the California-only RAV4 EV.
This week, Toyota is also highlighting its first production hydrogen fuel cell sedan at the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas.
Toyota says that if hybrids are a bridge technology, they represent a “very long bridge” and it has projected they’ll be here more than 50 years from now.
Whether EV advocates buy that one or not, it’s at least true Toyota is not done hammering the market with its very effective hybrids.
These cars sell well in part because compared to gas-powered counterparts, they do offer significant mileage increases.