Toyota wins back-to-back world (731)

Toyota wins back-to-back world (731)

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Toyota has confirmed its global leadership in automotive environmental responsibility by winning the World Green Car award for the second year in a row.

The plug-in version of the Toyota Prius petrol-electric hybrid car has been named the winner of this year's award, announced at the 2017 New York International Auto Show.

Last year, the award went to the Toyota Mirai fuel-cell sedan - a remarkable zero-emissions car with all the convenience of today's conventional vehicles, yet it runs on hydrogen instead of petrol or diesel.

This year's award for the plug-in Prius, also known as Prius Prime, was based on more than its excellent fuel economy and low tailpipe emissions.

A key consideration was the use of a major advanced power plant technology (beyond engine componentry) aimed specifically at increasing the vehicle's environmental responsibility.

Judging for the World Green Car began with an entry list of 12 new vehicles, which was culled to three finalists. The Prius outpolled Tesla Model X and Chevrolet Bolt in the final vote.

Accepting the winner's trophy, group vice president and general manager of Toyota division in the United States Jack Hollis said the World Green Car award was a great honour.

"For global automakers like Toyota, this award is a testament to our focus on developing products that both stir the emotions and meet the mobility needs of our customers in all corners of the world," Mr Hollis said.

Toyota, which has positioned hybrid developments as core environmental technologies for the 21st century, has sold more than 10 million hybrid vehicles including more than 95,000 in Australia.

Prius is the world's best-selling hybrid vehicle with almost four million cars sold since it was launched in Japan in late 1997. Sales have topped 20,000 in Australia.

The Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050, announced in 2015, aims to help reduce the negative impacts of automobiles on the global environment to as close to zero as possible, and to contribute to the creation of a sustainable society.

"Hybrid" encompasses all of the component technologies necessary for the development of vehicles with reduced environmental impact, from battery-electric to fuel-cell hydrogen vehicles.

Toyota is no stranger to the World Car awards, now in their 13th year. In addition to Mirai's win last year, Toyota Prius earned "Top Three in the World" status in 2010 for both the World Green Car and the overall World Car of the Year categories. The Toyota 86 was a "Top Three in the World" finalist for the 2013 World Car of the Year; the Toyota iQ for the same category in 2009; and the Toyota Harrier Hybrid for 2006 World Green Car.

Vehicles in all award categories are selected and voted on by an international jury panel comprising 75 senior automotive journalists from 23 countries, including five Australians.

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