When it comes to alternative powertrains, there is the future, and there is here and now.
As Toyota and Lexus prepare to introduce three new hybrids to their European line-ups – the Toyota C-HR Hybrid, the new generation Prius Plug-In Hybrid and the Lexus LC 500h coupe – Toyota Motor Europe (TME) is seeing a sharp increase in its existing hybrid sales so far this year: +45% versus 2015, which was already a record year. These three new models will be on the Toyota and Lexus stands at the forthcoming Paris Motor Show.
“We’re on track to sell close to 300,000 hybrids this year,” said Karl Schlicht, Executive Vice President of TME. “That is a new record for us and positions Toyota and Lexus as leaders in electrification.” The company plans to achieve more than 900,000 total sales in Greater Europe this year, with a third of those being hybrid. “This really shows that hybrids are what customers want right now – which is a great reward for having invested so early in powertrain electrification.”
Toyota Motor Europe started commercialising hybrids in 2000 with the first generation Prius. To date, 1.5 million Toyota and Lexus hybrids have been sold on the continent. Europe is Toyota’s fastest-growing region worldwide for hybrid sales.
Toyota’s target is to reach 50% of its European sales with hybrid vehicles by 2020, with a hybrid version in every major market segment.
Amongst the most popular Toyota hybrid models are the C-segment Auris Hybrid (57,884 sales from January to August), the B-segment Yaris Hybrid (55,611), and the recently launched RAV4 hybrid (25,909), a sport-utility vehicle.
Toyota sells 7 hybrid models in Europe: the Yaris, Auris/Auris Touring Sports, RAV4, Camry, Prius, Prius Plug-In, Prius Plus (MPV), and is introducing an 8th hybrid at the end of this year: the all-new Toyota C-HR, a highly anticipated C-segment crossover.
“Our retailers are extremely excited about Toyota C-HR,” said Karl Schlicht. “We started taking orders this month and are very confident this new entry in the growing cross-over segment will further help grow our sales into 2017. From what we can see so far, nearly 70% of customers will choose the hybrid version.”
The new Prius Plug-In Hybrid is another big step over the previous generation, which was the first plug-in hybrid on the market worldwide when it launched in 2012. The new Prius Plug-In Hybrid offers a pure-electric range of more than 50 km and a fuel consumption of just 1 litre per 100 km (22g of CO2/km) (NEDC).
Lexus premium hybrids
Total Lexus hybrid sales were 28,782 over the January-August 2016 period.
Lexus sells 7 hybrids in Europe: the CT 200h, IS 300h, RC 300h, GS300h/450h, NX 300h, RX 450h and LS 600h. An 8th model has been announced and will start sales in mid-2017: the striking new LC 500h coupe with the brand-new Multi-Stage Hybrid System. Lexus’ best sellers in Europe are the NX 300h (10,936 sales from January to August 2016), the new RX 450h (6,052) and the CT200h (5,519).
Study shows Toyota’s new Prius is even better at tapping into its electric power
Research recently commissioned to the University of Rome reveals how the new, fourth generation Prius operates with zero emissions for most of the time and distance covered on a typical city commute. Data gathered from more than 2,200 km of driving on a typical Rome commuting journey reveal that the test Prius cars spent an average 73.2 per cent of the journey time (62.5 per cent of the journey distance) producing no tailpipe emissions. These figures included periods when the car was stationary, with the engine automatically switched off.
The results were even better in urban areas, where noise, pollution and air quality are of special concern. On these sections of the route, Prius achieved zero emissions for 79.4 per cent of the journey time and 76.3 per cent of the route distance.
This level of performance was possible thanks to the quality of Toyota’s latest Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain. Almost 45 per cent of the car’s drive power was sourced from the electric motor, with 34.3 per cent of its energy to the wheels produced by the regenerative braking system. Thus, more than one third of the power used to drive the wheels of the test cars was produced simply by the act of braking or slowing down. (For more details: http://bit.ly/2d10g2r)
Chart: A hybrid for every need
|Toyota Hybrid vehicles|
|Segment B||Yaris Hybrid|
|Segment C||Auris Hybrid / Auris Touring Sport Hybrid|
|Segment C-SUV and C-crossover||RAV4 Hybrid; Toyota C-HR Hybrid (from late 2016)|
|Segment D||Prius and Prius Plug-In Hybrid|
|Segment D-MPV||Prius +|
|Segment E||Camry Hybrid (Israel)|
|Lexus Hybrid vehicles|
|Segment C Premium||Lexus CT 200h|
|Segment C-SUV Premium||Lexus NX 300h|
|Segment D Premium||Lexus IS 300h|
|Segment D-SUV Premium||Lexus RX 450h|
|Segment E Premium||Lexus GS 300h/450h and Lexus ES|
|Segment F Premium||Lexus LS 600h|
|Segment Coupe Premium||Lexus RC 300h and Lexus LC 500h (from 2017)|