Global sales of Toyota’s hybrid vehicles have passed 2.5m units, the company has said, with the rate of growth still picking up.

Toyota said that so far this year, sales are being made at 2,000 units a day – one third higher than in 2009 when Toyota’s hybrid sales topped half a million for the first time.

The higher demand follows last year’s release of the third-generation Prius and the recent introduction of Hybrid Camry manufacture in Australia and China.

Prius is the world’s leading petrol-electric hybrid vehicle with 1.8m sales, representing 70% of all Toyota hybrids.

The Camry is Toyota’s second best hybrid model with total global sales approaching 200,000 units.

Toyota Australia’s senior executive director sales and marketing David Buttner said: “Toyota welcomes the fact that many carmakers around the world are turning to hybrids as a practical way of maintaining performance while reducing consumption of fossil fuels and tailpipe emissions.”

Buttner said Toyota’s global goal is to sell 1m hybrids a year as soon as possible this decade – and to offer a hybrid version in every model series during the 2020s.

Toyota offered its first generation Prius hybrid in Japan in 1997 and began exports in 2000.