Hybrids the Greener Choice
Back in the early 90's, Toyota first began assessing technology that could improve our environment for the 21st century. By 1995, the first Toyota Hybrid System using gasoline and electric power was developed. Today, we offer six Toyota and Lexus hybrid vehicles in the U.S. Thanks to our customers, we've sold over 1.5 million hybrids worldwide, more than any other car company.
Spotlight on Prius
One of the challenges of building environmentally advanced automobiles is that customers want the added environmental benefit but do not want to sacrifice other features such as quality, power, price or comfort. So at the same time that Prius has achieved market acceptance, the pressure has increased for us to meet even higher consumer standards - even better performance at a lower price. This is a challenge we have systematically met.
Prius' fuel efficiency and vehicle performance have steadily improved since 1998, even as the Prius has grown from a subcompact to a midsize sedan. Prius' emissions have become cleaner, as the certification rating has evolved from Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) to Super Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV) to Advanced Technology-Partial Zero Emission Vehicle (AT-PZEV). AT-PZEV vehicles are 70% cleaner than the average new car (based on 2005 model year vehicles) and have zero evaporative emissions. Toyota is working on all of our hybrid products to balance environmental and energy security concerns with the performance and features desired by different market segments.