This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

December 18, 2002

Toyota Advances Fuel Efficiency While Cutting Energy Use

Toyota Motor North America announced on December 11th that it is not only improving fuel efficiency in its vehicles, but also increasing energy efficiency in its factories. According to the Toyota North America Environmental Report, the company has improved fuel efficiency by 4 to 8 percent in nine vehicle configurations from model year 2001 to 2002. Since last year, Toyota has also reduced energy consumption per unit of production at its North American plants by 7 percent. See the Toyota press release.

Toyota aims to cut its energy use per unit of production to 15 percent below its 2000 levels by 2005. To achieve its goals, the company is reducing its use of compressed air, developing waste-heat recovery systems for use in its painting shops, and installing high-efficiency lighting systems and controls. See the Toyota North America Environmental Report.

Toyota continues to experience strong demand for its hybrid-electric vehicle, the Prius, in the United States. As of November, U.S. sales of the Prius had reached 18,329 for the year, up more than 32 percent from last year's year-to-date sales figures. See the Toyota press release.