Toyota's Jim Press claimed today that 25% of Toyota's US sales will be hybrid vehicles by the end of the decade. That'd involve selling approximately 600,000 gas-electric vehicles, a 15% market share in a 17M/year market. Last month, Toyota sold over 14,000 hybrids, accounting for a bit under 7% of their total sales in the US. Press claims that Toyota is working on 10 new hybrid models that will debut over the next five years, but fleshing out its lineup with hybrid variants is not certain and may take 10-15 years. I find Toyota's long-term planning rather encouraging in an industry that so often relies on reacting to market trends (that statement will probably get me branded as some sort of anti-American, but so be it). Of course, if hybrids prove to be ineffective in saving fuel (either through minimal improvement in real-world economy or if the energy investment required for the drive system outweighs the lifetime fuel savings), then all of this will look a bit foolish.



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