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Toyota to expand its hybrid fleet by 2022

By David Bonnici, 01 Nov 2018 Car News

Toyota to expand its hybrid fleet by 2022

High petrol prices have been a boon for Toyota Camry Hybrid sales, so Toyota wants to repeat the trick with Corolla, RAV4 and more

Toyota is pressing ahead with its plans to introduce five new hybrid models in Australia during the next two-and-a-half years.

Toyota Australia’s decision to expand its petrol-electric range was cemented by stronger-than-expected buyer demand for hybrid versions of the latest Japanese-built Camry. The petrol-electric hybrid accounts for almost half of the popular mid-sized sedan’s sales, which have topped 12,000 so far this year.

The five new hybrids – including a variant of the all-new RAV4 medium SUV due during the first half of 2019 – will join Camry and electrified versions of the Corolla, Prius and Prius C light hatch.

Read next: 2017 Toyota Prius long-term car review, part four

Toyota is yet to confirm what the other four models will be, but they’re likely to include C-HR and Kluger variants.

The affordable hybrid space is currently ruled by Toyota and luxury sibling Lexus, with the majority of the 300-odd hybrids sold a month currently sold by the two. However, Hyundai is set to enter the hybrid space with the Ioniq small car, while more petrol-electric hybrids are set to contest the space going forward.

Toyota Australia's Vice President, National Sales and Marketing, Sean Hanley, said the recent spike in petrol prices has also influenced the company’s forward planning in respect to hybrids.

"No matter what happens with petrol prices, Toyota offers motorists a way to save on their fuel bill,” Hanley said.

Read next: Hyundai Ioniq v Toyota Prius comparison review

"The hybrid system in the latest generation Camry, for instance, offers more power than the four-cylinder petrol version, yet consumes half the amount of fuel at just 4.5 litres/100km.

"As a result, owners travelling an annual average of 15,000km could save up to $900 a year at the pump, based on the current national average retail petrol price of $1.59 a litre."

Hanley said as well as its emphasis on providing more efficient vehicles, Toyota was continuing to refine and develop its hybrid technology to offer great performance, pointing out its hybrid-powered TS050 race car that won this year's gruelling Le Mans 24 Hours.

Since the Prius was first launched in Japan in 1997, Toyota has sold more than 12 million hybrid vehicles globally.