In the month of May, Toyota sold its one millionth hybrid worldwide. Over half of the hybrids sold have been in the US, while nearly 345,000 hybrids were sold in Japan. The Toyota Prius, their first and best selling hybrid, has sold over 750 thousand units since 1997 when it was released in Japan.
It took about eight years to sell 500,000 hybrids, but only two more to sell the next 500,000. Toyota hopes to sell one million hybrid cars a year by 2010.
From the press release from Toyota:
According to a recent study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), hybrid vehicles have saved close to 215 million gallons, or 5.1 million barrels, of fuel in the U.S. since their introduction in 1999. As the market share leader in the hybrid segment, Toyota accounted for 66 percent of all hybrids sold in America during that period.
Toyota and Lexus have five models on sale in the US, with one more coming this summer. They currently sell the previously mentioned Prius, as well as hybrid versions of the Camry and Highlander. Lexus carries the GS 450h and the RX 400h, with the LS 600h on its way.
One other note from the Press Release:
Also significant to buyers who may base their next purchase on
environmental priorities are the results of recent lifecycle assessment
studies of hybrid vehicles. A variety of studies, including one from the
Argonne National Laboratory, have concluded that the total lifetime energy
use of hybrid vehicles -- from development, through production, through
on-highway use, to end-of-life recycling and landfill -- is significantly
lower than conventional vehicles.