The Toyota logo is seen at a dealership in 2012.
Approximately 2 million Toyota and Lexus hybrid vehicles have been sold in the U.S. this past year in the U.S. according to a company press release. These vehicles have "significantly" reduced CO2 emissions and fuel consumption overall.
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"With more than 50 hybrid vehicle models from various manufacturers available in the U.S. today, hybrids on the road are saving nearly 500 million gallons of petroleum annually in this country," said Tony Markel, senior engineer with the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) according to a company press release.
Toyota stated that their global fleet of almost 20 hybrid models has resulted in approximately 34 million fewer tons of CO2 emissions than those released by gasoline-powered models according to Toyota.
CO2 emissions are a major reason climate change occurs globally today according to most environmental groups.
"With millions of hybrid vehicles on the road today, hybrid powertrains are mainstream market reality," Markel said according to Toyota.
Markel also stated that DOE and NREL's collaborative research with the auto industry "spurred" the development of hybrid-electric technology for the overall "mainstream" market to help the country cutback on their dependence of petroleum.
Toyota and Lexus hybrid models represent approximately 70 percent of the U.S. auto industry's hybrid sales, and 16 percent of the overall Toyota and Lexus sales in the U.S. and globally according to the company press release.
Of the total hybrid sales, Toyota and Lexus hybrid sales represent nearly three percent of the U.S. car market combined.
"The first Prius was a surprising success and we never imagined the market would become as vast as it has for the hybrid powertrain," said Bob Carter, TMS senior vice president of automotive operations.
Toyota and Lexus sell 19 hybrid models and one plug-in vehicle in over 80 countries around the globe, 12 of which are available in the U.S. The models available to customers in the U.S. include: the Prius Liftback, Prius Plug-In, Avalon Hybrid, Lexus CT 200h, and RX 450h.