Toyota plans to launch 21 new hybrid models

Auto giant Toyota is planning to expand its range of green cars, announcing earlier this week that it will be releasing 21 new hybrid models between now and 2015.

Toyota is expecting that sales of hybrid cars will surpass one million units by the end of this year, and will continue to sell at that rate through till 2015.

In a press release issued September 24, the company announced that it has also developed highly efficient diesel and petrol engines as well as an improved transmission system which offers "superior fuel efficiency" and "smooth acceleration".

The company is reportedly working on wireless battery charging technology as well, which uses magnetic fields to transmit electric fields and charge batteries without the need for plugs or cables.

"[Toyota], believing that eco-cars can only contribute to society through their widespread use, will continue to refine conventional engine fuel efficiency while placing hybrid technology as key to further improving the performance of eco-cars, reducing their cost and improving the overall [Toyota] product lineup," reads the release.  

However the announcement also revealed that Toyota will pull back on plans to unroll its new all-electric minicar, due to a perceived lack of consumer demand.

The Toyota eQ offers an electric power consumption rate of just 104 Wh/km, allowing drivers to travel up to 100 km on a single charge while also reaching top speeds of 125 km/hour, but fleet managers looking to save on fuel consumption by investing in these economic cars are out of luck.

According to a Reuters article dated September 24, Toyota - after originally planning to sell thousands of eQ vehicles per year - will now make only 100 of the battery-powered cars available in the United States and Japan.

"The current capabilities of electric vehicles do not meet society's needs, whether it may be the distance the cars can run, or the costs, or how it takes a long time to charge," Toyota vice chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada told reporters earlier this week.