Toyota Smashes Through 8 Million Hybrid Sales

Toyota were the pioneers behind the hybrid movement. Although the car world didn’t unanimously embrace the first brave Prius, Toyota always knew the impact it would have. Today, they celebrate the announcement that they’ve reached the huge 8 million milestone. Across their range, they have sold significantly more hybrid vehicles than any other manufacturer. What’s interesting is that a million of those sales have come in the last 10 months. It may have taken fifteen years, but the hybrid revolution is at a monumental tipping point.

Porsche 918 Spyder

In 1997, the Toyota Prius first hit the market. It began with a soft launch in Japan, before coming to Western shores a little later. Still, it was not loved by the motoring world. Environmentalists loved its new green approach to driving. Tech geeks loved the brave new engineering and complex electronic technology. And, families loved it because it cut down their monthly fuel budget. However, motoring enthusiasts were less than excited. They called it a waste of time, and bemoaned its poor performance. It was unsure whether the Prius would have the impact Toyota had hoped for. In 2015, it’s now clear that it did. In a big way.

Of course, the hybrid evolution was not without its problems. The new technology posed all sorts of issues that had to be overcome. Not least, the biggest criticism of all; its poor range. Yes, the car was environmentally friendly, but it could only run a few miles on a single charge. The battery itself was enormously heavy, making the car slow and difficult to handle. Thanks to the electric motor, the engine also reached much higher temperatures than your average vehicle. That’s a lot of problems to overcome! But, Toyota managed it. They increased the range, slimmed down the engine, and helped create better thermal material.

From Prius to hypercar

Now, we are in a position where the fastest cars on the planet use a hybrid engine. What a long way we’ve come in a short period of time. Hybrid engines now power the McLaren P1, the Porsche 918 Spyder and the Ferrari la Ferrari. These are the three most powerful cars on the planet. At a more modest price tag, the BMW i8 is being heralded the best hybrid car on the market. Even ‘gaz guzzling’ SUVs are embracing the hybrid engines. Toyota should not only be proud of their sales figures. They should be proud of the new generation of motoring they inspired.

Of course, Toyota are now a company to rest on their laurels. The next big thing is already in production. It’s called the Toyota Mirai, and it should hit our roads this year or next. It’s one of the world’s first road-legal hydrogen fuel cell cars. Toyota have repeatedly said that its impact on the motoring world will be stronger than the Prius. There are even talks about solar charging in the works. Bold words from the Japanese manufacturers! Having said that, we certainly wouldn’t bet against them.

So, let’s raise a glass to Toyota’s fantastic sales figures. Now we can only look forward to what the future holds for hybrid engineering.

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