Toyota to double hybrid line-up early next decade
TOKYO, June 13 (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp. (7203.T: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Tuesday it would double the number of hybrid cars in its vehicle line-up soon after 2010, renewing its endorsement of the technology as critical to reducing pollution and oil dependence.
Japan's top auto maker dominates the market for hybrid cars, which twin a conventional engine with an electric motor to improve mileage, and is keen to spread the system as the main alternative to today's internal combustion engines.
It currently mounts the system on seven models, including the hot-selling Prius sedan, and has targeted sales of 1 million hybrid cars annually soon after 2010.
Outlining its efforts to help the environmental cause, Toyota said it was working on improving technology across the powertrain spectrum -- alternative-fuel engines, diesel engines, gasoline engines and electric cars -- but stressed that hybrid technology was crucial in boosting the performance of each system.
"We believe that hybrids will be the core technology in the 21st century," Masatami Takimoto, executive vice president in charge of technology development, told a news conference. story continued