Section 8. Integrating IT and Exploring New Energy Sources
Item 1. Development of Prius and Hybrid Strategy
Hybrid vehicles as the basis of environmental action
Ahead of the beginning of the 21st century, which has also been called the "century of the environment", Toyota created the world's first mass-produced hybrid passenger vehicle, the Prius. The Prius was launched in December 1997, opening up a new era of automotive environmental technology.
Toyota has positioned hybrid systems as representing a key environmental technology for the 21st century and adopted a policy of applying such systems to fuel cell and other vehicles. But for conventional gasoline and diesel engines, which will remain as the chief providers of motive power for some time to come, Toyota is also putting great effort into developing technologies related to improving fuel efficiency and making exhaust emissions cleaner.
From the year 2000, Toyota set as a goal the timely provision of environment friendly vehicles that meet the needs of the different markets around the world, based on its principle of providing "the right vehicle, for the right place, at the right time".