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Toyota planning 10 more hybrids

By the end of this decade, Toyota plans for 25 percent of U.S. sales to be hybrid vehicles.

August 3, 2005; Posted: 12:56 p.m. EDT (1656 GMT)


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NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Toyota Motor Corp. plans to introduce 10 more gasoline-electric hybrid models globally by early next decade in a push to boost total sales of hybrids to 1 million, a top Toyota U.S. executive said.

The world's second-biggest automaker is also aiming for hybrid vehicles to account for at least 25 percent of its U.S. sales in the same time period, Jim Press, Toyota's U.S. president and chief operating officer, told Reuters on the sidelines of an auto conference in this northern Michigan resort.

Meeting a global goal of 1 million hybrid vehicles would mean that Toyota would have to sell about 600,000 vehicles in the U.S. alone, Press said, according to a report from Automotive News, an industry newspaper.

"To achieve that goal, we will have to look at offering hybrid power systems in virtually all of our vehicles, including trucks," Press told Automotive News.

Owners of future hybrid vehicles might be able to choose between high gas mileage or more performance by pressing a button on the instrument panel, said Press, according to the Automotive News report.

Currently, some hybrid cars, like the Toyota Prius, are engineered to offer maximum fuel efficiency while others, like the Lexus 400h SUV, also from Toyota, offer increased performance at the cost of the best possible fuel economy.

Gasoline/electric hybrid vehicles use electric motors in addition to gasoline engines to power the car. Some of the power from the gasoline engine and from braking is used to charge batteries for the electric motor.

Toyota is currently working on hybrid-powered pick-up trucks, Press told Automotive News.

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