Toyota announces 2012 hybrids sales have surpassed one million

Late last month Honda announced it had made history by selling more than one million hybrid green cars in a single calendar year for the very first time.

Now Toyota has broken that same milestone, announcing in a statement released November 7 that it had officially sold more than one million hybrid cars in 2012.

The news is evidence of the emphasis consumers are now placing on lower rates of fuel consumption, likely spurred by rising gas prices and an increasing level of environmental awareness.

"Toyota has almost single-handedly developed, built, promoted and sold hybrid cars to the point where they are now a mainstream choice for the motoring public," said Toyota Australia executive director sales and marketing Matthew Callachor.

"We expect hybrids to continue to grow in popularity as Toyota is joined by other carmakers in offering hybrid cars here and overseas - a development we strongly welcome."

Toyota's range of hybrid cars currently includes the world famous Toyota Prius family, which has  been responsible for more than three quarters of total Toyota hybrid sales so far this year. Hybrid versions of the Toyota Camry, Auris, Yaris and Lexus are also available.

According to Toyota, worldwide sales of the brands hybrid vehicles have helped decrease CO2 production by around 30 million tonnes, while also saving approximately 11 million litres of petrol.

"A growing number of people now understand that petrol-electric hybrids offer increased performance as well as substantial fuel savings due to the combination of an efficient petrol engine and an electric motor," said Mr Callachor.

Fleet managers looking for ways to reduce overall car fuel consumption may be interested in procuring hybrid vehicles for their own organisation.

This is an area which fleet service providers can assist with, by creating a competitive tendering environment and also determining the total whole of life cost of each individual vehicle.