Hybrid sales pass 100,000, thanks to Toyota

New figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show hybrid engined cars are more popular than ever.

The data shows that Toyota and Lexus dominate the sector, which has seen a total of 100,000 hybrid vehicles registered since 2007. Of that number, 77,000 – over three in four of the models registered – were badged Toyota or Lexus.

Hybrid power is fast becoming a mainstream choice for many drivers – a fact borne out by a growing market share. Figures have almost doubled, from 0.7 per cent, to 1.3 per cent so far in 2012.

This year, the number of drivers making the switch will climb further, with four new hybrids being introduced by Toyota and Lexus.

Toyota is bringing hybrid technology into the core of its product range with the introduction of Yaris Hybrid, and the debut of Prius+, the first seven-seat full hybrid in Europe.

By using compact and powerful lithium-ion battery technology, Toyota has been able to give Prius+ a spacious and fully flexible interior. The new car will also deliver CO2 emissions starting at less than 100g/km, earning road tax (VED) and London congestion charge exemption.

Summer will also see the introduction of Prius Plug-in, Toyota’s first commercially available hybrid with a battery that can be recharged from an external power source.

Designed to meet the demands of urban drivers with its extended electric-only EV range (with zero tailpipe emissions), the plug-in hybrid goes further than all-electric models by being able to switch seamlessly to its hybrid system once battery charge is depleted.

Hybrid’s role in the luxury market will be reinforced by the introduction of the new GS executive sports saloon – which blazes a trail for a sharper and more distinctive Lexus design language. The full hybrid GS 450h will also take emissions and fuel efficiency to a new level in its class.

Jon Williams, Managing Director of Toyota and Lexus in the UK said: “The SMMT data shows how the momentum for hybrid is increasing. Motorists appreciate its environmental performance, its reliability and ease of use, plus the smooth and refined driving quality.

“Toyota’s leadership in hybrid technology is not just about the models we have launched and the new vehicles we are bringing to market this year. It also serves as a proven, flexible technology platform for creating different powertrains – all-electric, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell vehicles – with which we will be able to develop and deliver sustainable transport with minimum environmental impact.”

Toyota also released news of the 400,000 hybrid car being delivered in Europe at the beginning of this year.

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