Toyota looks to bring more eco-friendly cars to the UAE

The Japanese carmaker was “eager” to promote eco-friendly vehicles, a company executive said

TO GO WITH STORY China-auto-environment,FOCUS by Bill Savadove 

(FILES) In this picture taken on April 20, 2011 a worker cleans a Toyota Hybrid Prius displayed at the Shanghai Auto Show in Shanghai.  Foreign and domestic car makers are struggling to sell environmentally friendly vehicles in China, the world's largest auto market, even as Beijing pumps billions into clean energy.  AFP PHOTO/Philippe Lopez/FILES

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Toyota is looking to bring more environmentally-friendly vehicles to the UAE using the country to help meet corporate targets.

The Japanese automotive company is looking to have 15 million of its hybrids on the roads around the world by 2020. The company currently has 1,200 hybrids in the UAE, but only one eco-friendly model is available. Takayuki Yoshitsugu, Toyota's chief representative of the Middle East and North Africa, told The National that the company was planning to increase its hybrid offerings in the country.

“The number is very difficult to say, but as a direction, we are eager to promote the environmentally friendly vehicle like a hybrid [and] obviously supply more or many models,” he said in Dubai on Wednesday.

This fits with the UAE’s ambitions, which includes Dubai aiming for 2 per cent of new cars purchased between 2016 and 2020 to be hybrid or electric vehicles, a target that will increase to 10 per cent by 2030.

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In 2015, the company began working its way toward its environmental challenge 2050 which aims to reduce emissions from its vehicles by 90 per cent. The Toyota Prius is the only model available in the country at this time, but the company has hybrid models available for the Lexus, Highlander, Avalon and Camry.

Saud Abbasi, managing director of Toyota at Al-Futtaim Motors, said that there had been steady progress toward achieving Toyota’s goal. “Globally, we’ve had consistent expansion of our hybrid lines,” he said. “This is the first step in reducing dependence on petrol engines and by 2020, we’ll have over 15 million hybrids running around the world.”

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