Toyota To Double Hybrid Models

Toyota Motor said June 13 it hoped to boost sales of hybrid cars four times from the current level by doubling the number of gasoline-electric hybrid models by the early 2010s.

The plan is part of the company's mid-term project to enhance its environmental technologies and boost environmentally friendly vehicles. Under the plan, the world's second largest car maker aims to raise hybrid car sales from 235,000 units to one million in the early 2010s, while doubling the number of hybrid models from seven at present."We will lead the global market by regarding hybrids as the core technology to solve the environment issue," Toyota President Katsuaki Watanabe told a news conference.

Toyota also said it would release ethanol-powered motor vehicles in Brazil in the spring of 2007, while it would further develop hybrid and bioethanol-compatible vehicles as well as fuel cell passenger cars.

The Japanese carmaker has scored a big success since it first launched a Prius hybrid car powered by a combination gasoline and electric engine in 1997.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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