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Toyota Plans to Get Greener in the Next Five Years

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author photo by Autotrader August 2010

Toyota recently outlined a very ambitious five-year environmental plan, which includes several plug-in hybrid vehicles, battery electrics and its intention to increase fuel efficiency by 25 percent as compared to 2005.

This is the company's fifth environmental plan; the goal, according to Toyota, is to promote a low carbon and recycling based society. The company even went as far as to say they want to reduce emissions and improve environmental sensitivity at their manufacturing plants too.

Toyota already makes the world's best selling gas/electric hybrid, the Toyota Prius. Since the car's introduction, Toyota has sold more than 1 million Prius hybrids in Japan and more than 2.7 million worldwide. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Prius in the US and in just the first seven months of 2010 Toyota has already sold more than 80,000 Prius hybrids. Ultimately, Toyota wants to boost Prius sales to 1 million cars per year.

As part of their overall environmental plan, Toyota plans to introduce a plug-in electric version of the Prius and have a battery electric vehicle ready by 2012. Toyota currently has 150 plug-in Prius hybrids in the US; those cars are part of Toyota's testing program to gather information on usage, problems and warranty expectations. The plug-in Prius is much like the Prius you can buy today but with the ability to charge it's batteries by plugging it in. Plus, it can run on electric power only for up to 13 miles and at a speed of about 60 mph.

Toyota wants to reduce the environmental impact at its factories too. The goal here is to reduce manufacturing emissions by 29 percent compared to 2001 levels and reduce waste by 45 percent. The company also promises to use fewer volatile organic compounds (VOC) in its paint shops, reduce water usage, recycle more materials and use more recycled materials.

In an official Toyota document, the company spelled out other specific goals such as "promote effective utilization of resources on a global basis" and "…develop next generation vehicles and insure wider market acceptance." That's just a corporate-speak way of saying Toyota wants to reduce emissions, use fewer resources and sell more cars that use less gasoline or no gasoline at all.

In the US, Toyota has been operating since 1957 and currently employs more than 28,700 people. There are currently 1,500 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealerships throughout the US.

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Toyota Plans to Get Greener in the Next Five Years - Autotrader