This week Toyota hosted its inaugural Hybrid World Tour event in Ypsilanti, Michigan, just down the road from Ann Arbor where the Japanese manufacturer has a research and development facility
During the conference-style event, some of the company's global top brass reflected on the development of the hybrid vehicle market that Toyota helped to foster with the introduction of the original petrol-electric Prius back in 1997.
Underlining Toyota's ongoing commitment to the hybrid cause, there was fighting talk from Bob Carter, Senior Vice President for Automotive Operations, who issued a challenge for the rest of the car industry to embrace hybrid technology to the same extent.
"We believe so strongly in this… that we have consistently encouraged the industry to expand the use of hybrid technology," he said. "15 years after the arrival of what some have characterised as 'a science project', we are seeing this happen.
"Over the past five years, the percentage of hybrid sales at Toyota has grown from 10 to 16 per cent of our total sales mix. Ford is less than three per cent and Honda is less than two per cent.