Toyota Will Increase Hybrid Production to 1 Million Units Per Year in 2011


Photo: Michael Graham Richard
Twice As Much as 2009 Hybrid Production
According to the Nikkei, Toyota is planning to ramp up hybrid vehicle production pretty significantly this year, with a goal of production 1 million hybrids annually in 2011 (up from about 500,000 in 2009). In fact, Toyota's Japanese production of Prius hybrids in 2011 is about as big (550,000) as Toyota production of all hybrid models in 2009.

Photo: Michael Graham Richard

The Nikkei writes (via GCC):

"The automaker recently notified parts suppliers that it intends to roll out about 800,000 hybrids domestically in 2010, with the figure to be raised to around 900,000 in 2011 and roughly 1.1 million in 2012.

Given that Toyota now produces about 90% of its hybrids at home, global output of such vehicles is expected to surpass 1 million in 2011 when those assembled in China, the US and elsewhere are included."

Good, but Not Yet Great
Since the majority of a vehicle's life-cycle ecological footprint comes from the fuel it burns over its life (in the range of 80-90%, depending on LCA studies), this increase in the number of hybrids is a good thing. They produce fewer smog-forming emissions, burn less fuel, and the batteries can be recycled at the end of their lives. But it's still only a small step in the right direction. On a personal level, it's still much better to walk/bike/take the bus/etc, but on a corporate level, Toyota could do more by accelerating the roll out of plug-in hybrids and electric cars, and by making fuel-saving additions to all its vehicles, such as better transmissions (the best-selling Corolla automatic has a 4-speed torque converter!), various weight reductions, and stop-start systems to reduce idling in city driving.

Via Reuters, Green Car Congress
More Toyota Stories
2010 Detroit Auto Show: Toyota FT-CH Hybrid Concept Might Join Prius Family
Toyota Will Sell Plug-In Hybrid Prius in 2011, Urban Commuter Electric Car in 2012
Top Gear Names 3rd Gen Toyota Prius "City Car of the Year" for 2009

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