Toyota Launches Its Latest Hybrid Vehicle - The Prius C

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By 2025, it is estimated that 35% of all cars made will be electric vehicles. (Image: Felipe Wiecheteck)
By 2025, it is estimated that 35% of all cars made will be electric vehicles. (Image: Felipe Wiecheteck)

BUSINESS

  • Prius c said to be more compact for city drivers with better fuel economy
  • Toyota Prius was Japan’s top-selling vehicle in 2011
  • US automakers question long-term viability of hybrid electric cars

Amid the era of greener, more environmentally conscious automobiles, Toyota recently rolled out its latest hybrid vehicle, called the Prius c. The Japanese automaker's new vehicle is smaller and more affordable than its predecessor, and targets city-dwelling, first-time buyers.

Toyota debuted its latest Prius addition at the recent Detroit Auto Show, following introduction on the Japanese market in Tokyo last year. The "c", which stands for city, is being hailed for its small size and record-setting fuel economy for a conventional hybrid in city driving.

Jim Lentz, Toyota's top US sales executive, said at a press conference in Detroit: “The Prius c is a gateway vehicle and a key part of Toyota’s Prius strategy. It is designed to draw in young buyers who may have previously thought that a hybrid was out of their price range.”

Japan Optimistic About Hybrid Outlook Despite US Doubts

While buzz among the US auto industry remains skeptical over the longevity of hybrid vehicles, for the third year in a row Toyota’s Prius is Japan’s top-selling vehicle for 2011.

In fact, Toyota sold over 252,000 Prius units in the last year, with sales of almost 23,000 units in December 2011 alone.

Key Statistics - Hybrid Vehicles

  • After reaching over 940,000 units sold in 2010, sales of hybrid electric cars exceeded 1 million units in 2011. (source: Industry Experts)
  • Between the years of 2006 and 2015, the Compound Annual Growth Rate of hybrid electric cars is anticipated to reach just under 23%, selling at least 2.5 million by 2015. (source: Industry Experts)
  • In an effort to rely less on the world's depleted oil reserves, governments are allotting large resources to develop and subsidize greener vehicles. In fact, President Obama recently signed a Stimulus Bill providing $14.4 billion towards the efforts. (source: IDTechEx)
  • By 2025, it is estimated that 35% of all cars made will be electric vehicles with the bulk of them being hybrid electric. (source: IDTechEx)

By Laurie Juliano-Bachara for
Laurie Juliano-Bachara is a Chicago-based writer who covers the latest topics in professional services, entertainment and business news.

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