This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.
Toyota to Double its Number of Hybrid Models to 20 by 2015
Toyota Motor Corporation announced in mid-June that it will double the number of hybrid models it sells by early in the next decade and will accelerate its research and development of plug-in hybrid vehicles. Including its Lexus division, Toyota currently sells 10 hybrid models, although not all are available in the United States. Next year, the company plans to introduce vehicles that can run on ethanol in Brazil, and is considering introducing the vehicles in the United States.
In addition, the company will include a new advanced engine in its 2007 model year vehicles, which will go on sale this fall. The 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine is smaller and lighter and features computer-controlled variable timing for both the intake and exhaust valves, resulting in improved efficiency with reduced emissions. It will be mated to a continuously variable transmission with the goal of cutting fuel consumption by 5 percent. The plans are all part of Toyota's efforts to meet its environmental goals. See the Toyota press releases on its future plans and the status of meeting its environmental goals.
Toyota hit a milestone in early June, when its worldwide sales of the Prius passed 500,000. The Prius is by far the most popular hybrid vehicle sold by the company; Toyota's total hybrid sales just passed the 600,000 mark in March. The Prius is also being sold in China now, and to supply that market, Toyota launched a new factory in Changchun, China, in December 2005. See the Toyota press release.