A RECORD 1.52 million electric cars were sold by Toyota last year, smashing its previous best of 1.4 million in 2016.
This marks an increase of just over eight per cent, giving the Japanese manufacturer back-to-back years of growth.
It also means that the brand has accomplished one of its own Environmental Challenge 2050 goals of selling 1.5 million electric vehicles (EVs) in a single year – originally set for 2020.
It puts the company on course to reach its next target of 5.5 million electrified vehicle sales-a-year by 2030.
Vice president Shigeki Terashi said: ‘In just over 20 years, we have seen sales of new electrified vehicles increase from less than 500 to more than 1.5 million.
‘This is a testament of faith from our customers in the quality, durability and reliability of our electrified powertrains. Thanks to them, we have established a solid and sustainable foundation for the mass production of a more diverse portfolio of electrified vehicles across our range.’
Since the launch of Prius with the first commercially available hybrid electric powertrain in 1997, Toyota says it has worked at improving the technology as the basis for its EV programme.
This has led to the introduction of the first mass-produced fuel cell electric vehicle, Mirai, in 2014, the fourth generation Prius in 2016, and the second generation Prius Plug-in hybrid in 2017.
The brand has confirmed that it will continue to develop its EV range, including the mass production of full-battery vehicles from 2020, initially in China and India, and later in Japan, the USA and Europe.
The company also aims to further expand sales of hybrid electric vehicles in emerging markets, helping to reduce carbon emissions from new vehicle sales worldwide.
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