Independent study confirms Toyota as consumer's first choice for Hybrid and Electric Vehicles

In answer to the question 'Is the customer ready and willing to buy electric vehicles..?' an independent study published in March 2011 establishes Toyota as the company most widely recognised amongst consumers as a manufacturer of hybrid and electric vehicles.

In a joint survey, Automotive Business Intelligence company EurotaxGlass's and UK-based marketing and research institute Harris Interactive addressed the issue in their latest study 'Electrification of the Automotive Industry — the European Consumer's View'.1

Of those questioned, some 30% demonstrated an interest in electric or hybrid vehicles, with Toyota standing out in all markets as the company with the highest brand awareness: When asked to name an electric or hybrid brand, some 15% of survey participants cited Toyota, with only 6% naming the closest rival hybrid manufacturer.

Moreover, Toyota's environmental flagship proves to be the single best known electric or hybrid model, with 16% of those questioned being aware of the award-winning Prius, and only 6% naming the closest rival vehicle.

The study confirms Toyota's belief in the strong potential of the hybrid market, concluding: 'The openness of the consumer towards alternative powertrains is much higher than the current market shares of these powertrain types. And this is true across all the major European markets.'

With over 3 million hybrid vehicles already sold worldwide, Toyota continues to roll out full hybrid technology across its main European model range.

Following the successful introduction of the Auris HSD to the C-segment in 2010, the Yaris HSD concept, presented at Geneva Motor Show 2011, anticipates Toyota's intention to bring Hybrid Synergy Drive® to the B-segment, the biggest volume segment in Europe. Prius+, Europe's first full hybrid 7-seater, debuted at the same occasion and will be launched on the European market in 2012.

Last year, Toyota set a new milestone for sustainable mobility with the introduction of the Prius Plug-in Hybrid through a global limited lease program. During 2012, Toyota will bring the Prius Plug-in hybrid to the mass market.

With electric vehicle sales still handicapped by vehicle price, driving range and the lack of charging infrastructures, Toyota sees plug-in hybrid technology as the most feasible short- to mid-term technological solution to the electrification of powertrains.

A full hybrid vehicle, the Prius Plug-in Hybrid represents a significant expansion of the Hybrid Synergy Drive® system's capabilities, offering drivers the best of both worlds. An extended, fully electric EV mode is employed for shorter journeys, while the hybrid powertrain's petrol engine awards the Prius Plug-in Hybrid true long range capability. Toyota remains convinced that hybrid drive is the core technology of the future.

Through the evolution of Toyota's full hybrid technology over more than a decade of sales, the company's incomparable record of customer experience gives it an unquestionable lead in the drive towards sustainable mobility.