Toyota launches most fuel-efficient hybrid
Tokyo, December 26, 2011
Toyota Motor Corp on Monday launched the world's most fuel-efficient hybrid car, as the company looks to fight off competition from pure electric vehicles.
The compact car, dubbed 'Aqua' in Japan and the 'Prius C' overseas, has a listed fuel efficiency of 35.4 km/litre (83.3 mpg), beating the current top Prius, which gets 32 km/litre.
Rivals Nissan Motor Co and General Motors Co are seeking to share the green limelight with their Leaf and Chevrolet Volt electric cars, though sales volumes are expected to stay relatively low until the high price of batteries comes down significantly.
Toyota is aiming for monthly Aqua sales in Japan of 12,000 units, with a starting price of 1.69 million yen ($21,600).
The Japanese automaker, which dominates the hybrid field, is aiming to launch about 10 new gasoline-electric models by 2015 and offer a fuel-sipping option across its entire line-up around 2020.
The firm last week forecast a 20 percent surge in 2012 sales as it recovers from the March earthquake in Japan and flooding in Thailand that hit production around the world.