"Eventually, everything will be a hybrid," said Jim Press, president of Toyota Motor North America, in an interview Tuesday in
Toyota, Japan's biggest carmaker and second to General Motors worldwide, is aiming to make as many as 400,000 gasoline-electric vehicles in 2006, including Prius cars, Camry sedans, Highlander sport utility vehicles and Coaster buses, Katsuaki Watanabe, president of Toyota, said at an investor conference in New York Monday. Hybrid vehicles combine a gasoline engine with a battery pack that is recharged through braking. A Prius hybrid carries a sticker price of $20,875 in
"The Prius is the forerunner," Press said. The Prius is one of the first mass-produced and marketed hybrid electric vehicles on the roads today. The Prius was a milestone model for the largest Japanese automaker. Car owners also want to emphasize they are driving an environment-friendly car. There are currently 12 hybrids available, including the Civic hybrid from Honda Motor Co and the Escape SUV from Ford Motor Co. The receipts fell 6.4 percent this year.
"We believe that in 10 years the world will be filled with hybrids," Mr. Okamoto said.