Toyota says its entire range of cars will be hybrid-powered by 2020.
In an interview with the International Herald Tribune, the company's powertrain boss, MasatamiTakimoto, said Toyota will soon have brought the initially high production costs of hybrids under control. By 2010, he said Toyota will be making as much profit on hybrids as it does on conventionally powered models.
Currently, Toyota sells the Prius hybrid, while its upmarket Lexus brand has hybrid versions of its RX off-roader, GS executive car and LS luxury model.
Toyota plans to increase production of its Prius by 40%, with 280,000 of the cars expected to roll off the production lines this year.
Toyota overtook General Motors to become the biggest-selling car maker in the world earlier this year, so Takimoto's 2020 prediction is a highly significant vote of confidence in the ability of hybrids.
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