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Sales of Toyota hybrid vehicles exceed 5 million

Toyota began selling hybrid vehicles in 1997 (courtesy: James Benjamin Bleeker)
Toyota began selling hybrid vehicles in 1997 (courtesy: James Benjamin Bleeker)

Staff writers

April 17, 2013 — Worldwide sales of hybrid vehicles the Japanese manufacturer Toyota has surpassed five million, the company has announced.

Toyota has sold a total of 5.125 million hybrid vehicles globally as of the end of March 2013, the company announced Wednesday.

Representatives are calling the achievement a significant milestone. Initially, hybrid vehicles were met with skepticism, and analysts were unsure if the technology would ever catch on. 

The manufacturer began selling the first mass-produced hybrid vehicle, the Prius, in 1997.

Hybrid vehicles fueled with gasoline and electricity increase fuel efficiency by alternating between a gas engine and an electric motor, depending on speed and driving conditions. The electric motor is recharged while the vehicle is moving.

Toyota hybrid vehicles account for 14% of the company's global sales and 40% of sales in Japan.

The manufacturer currently offers 19 hybrids and a plug-in hybrid.

It plans to roll out 18 new hybrid models by December 2015.

With files from the Canadian Press

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