Hybrid-electric Sales Expected to Increase 10-Fold
MUSCAT — Sales of hybrid electric vehicles such as the Toyota Prius are expected to increase ten-fold around the world in the next five years, according to a study.
Leading consumer analysis company JD Power and Associates conducted the Hybrid Vehicle Outlook report, which predicts that 500,000 hybrid vehicles will be sold annually by 2008 and 872,000 units by 2013.
By 2013 — only a decade from now — hybrids will account for nearly five per cent of the global new vehicle market.
Most of the growth will come from additional models being offered in different market segments such as SUV (Sports Utility Vehicles), which is the biggest segment in the world’s biggest market, the United States of America.
Toyota Prius, launched in 1997, is now the top-selling hybrid vehicle in the world and accounts for 90 per cent of hybrid vehicles on the road.
Prius, the world’s first mass-produced hybrid vehicle, uses an electric motor together with a conventional petrol engine to minimise fuel consumption and reduce CO2 emissions.
A second generation Prius that is bigger, more powerful and fuel-efficient and emits less carbon dioxide than the current model has been launched recently. While some automotive manufacturers have yet to come to grips with hybrid fuel technology, Toyota Prius has successfully overcoming the ultimate challenge — a gruelling rally, which began at Northern Sweden and went up all the way up to Jordan.
Consequently, Prius has the title of ‘World’s First Hybrid Rally Car’ to its growing list of accomplishments. Though not designed for rally competitions, Prius’ innovative technology proved itself throughout the demanding rally.
Prius’ popularity stems from the fact that it uses Toyota’s Hybrid Technology — alternate sources of energy in addition to fossil fuels — to achieve greater environmental friendliness as well as higher fuel efficiency. Based on this technology, Toyota Prius achieves an amazing fuel efficiency of 28km per litre.
No wonder, Toyota ‘was the recipient of the United Nations Environment Programme Global 500 Awards for development and production of environment friendly cars.
In competitive markets around the world, Toyota Prius attracts customers focused on technology and the environment with concerns such as clean air and fuel conservation. In Europe, strong environmental and fuel efficiency benefits couple with substantial government incentives, which made the vehicle attractive. In Japan, its home ground, the range of models available along with the core product benefits boosts sales. Indeed, Prius’ revolutionary technology and numerous awards have made it a ‘hot seller’.
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