As spy photos of the 2016 Prius are circulating, and 20 years after hybrids were first developed, Toyota has sold its eight-millionth hybrid wolrdwide through July 31.
The car being developed back in 1995 was of course the Prius, which was released in 1997 to Japan, and 2000 to the U.S.
The eight-millionth hybrid came just 10 months after the seven-millionth, and proliferation of Lexus and Toyota badged cars has accelerated, says the automaker.
Toyota calculates that as of July 31, its hybrids have resulted in approximately 58 million fewer tons of CO2 emissions than would have been emitted by gasoline-powered vehicles of similar size and driving performance. It also estimates 22 million kiloliters of gasoline have been saved.
“The message is clear: having found homes in driveways around the world, hybrids have staying power,” says the automaker in a statement. “Since the launch of the Prius in 1997, Toyota has been gradually adding hybrid models throughout its range, from the compact Yaris Hybrid to the recently announced RAV4 Hybrid. As of this month, Toyota sells 30 hybrid passenger car models and one plug-in hybrid model in more than 90 markets.”
Over just the past year, the automaker has brought more new hybrid models to markets, including the Esquire Hybrid (Japan only), the Lexus RC300h, and the recently launched Sienta Hybrid.
“Other new hybrid models are just around the corner, such as the Corolla Hybrid and Levin Hybrid (China only) and RAV4 Hybrid. This ongoing roll-out will only continue, with new hybrid models being added to Toyota’s range and sold in more markets than ever before,” says Toyota.
While more prominently the hydrogen fuel cell Mirai is in the news, Toyota’s bread and butter in no small part comes from its domination in the hybrid segment.
In the U.S. it holds 69 percent, with the next-nearest competitor being Ford, with 11.5 percent.
It is also developing new vehicles across its lines, it says, but hybridization is still growing, and to continue in the long term.
Meanwhile, AutoGuide has shown more photos of an unmasked Prius. We cannot post them because of copyright rules, but you can see them here.