Toyota Motor Corp. (TMC) has sold over 3 million of its Prius model around the world as of end of June 2013 since launching the gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle in 1997. TMC rolled out the Prius in 1997, making it the first volume hybrid passenger car in the world. TMC rolled out the second generation in 2003, and the third generation in 2009.
From the first to third generation, TMC managed to cut the cost of hybrid system by two-thirds as well as raise fuel efficiency from 28 km/L to 38 km/L.
TMC also applied for 1,261 patents relating to the third-generation Prius, allowing it to make progress worthy of the Prius name, which comes from a Latin word that means “to go before.” Since developing the first-generation Prius, TMC has placed hybrid technology as a core technology necessary for developing various types of environment-friendly vehicles.
TMC also placed importance on the development and production of core components like motors, inverters, batteries and electronic control units (ECUs). TMC plans to continue conducting R&D as well as continue investing at its Japan sites for the development of hybrid and other technologies. TMC aims to achieve sustainable growth by deploying these technologies across the globe.
In the fiscal year ending March 2014, TMC expects to invest JPY890 billion (consolidated) on environmental technology development and on boosting new platform and major component development. TMC also plans to make consolidated capital expenditure investments of JPY910 billion, with JPY440 billion marked for Japan.