Toyota predicts more than one million green cars will be sold in 2012

Toyota is predicting sales of more than one million hybrid green cars worldwide this year, announcing late last week that more than 630,000 Toyota and Lexus petrol-electric hybrids had been sold in 2012 as of June 30.

That number already surpasses the 628,989 Toyota hybrids sold during the entirety of 2011, with the popular Toyota Prius range accounting for the vast majority of 2012 sales, at 467,079 vehicles.

"Hybrid vehicles are now at the stage of being mainstream vehicles noted for their performance, fuel efficiency and quiet driving," Toyota Australia executive director sales and marketing of Matthew Callachor said in a statement released August 31.

"As tangible proof of Hybrid Synergy Drive’s environmental record, these sales have already contributed to a reduction in automotive emissions of some 26 million tons of CO2."

According to Toyota, more than 4.2 million Toyota and Lexus hybrid cars have now been sold worldwide. Furthermore, more than 150,000 Toyota Prius C models have already been sold this year, while the Toyota Prius V has also topped the 100,000 units sold mark in 2012.

Mr Callachor went on to note that Toyota is now looking at ways in which hybrid cars such as the Toyota Prius can be made more readily available in Australia.

That news will be welcomed by fleet managers who are considering investing in fuel efficient cars in order to decrease overall fleet costs and minimise fuel consumption.

The Toyota Prius Hybrid Synergy Drive combination electric/petrol engine allows the vehicle to reach fuel economy levels of less than six litres per 100 km driven.

"Toyota believes hybrid technology is a trump card for fuel-economy improvement. It is core technology that can also be used for next-generation vehicles including battery electric, plug-in hybrid and fuel-cell vehicles," added Mr Callachor.