Cumulative sales of Toyota and Lexus hybrids in the UK have reached 200,000 units 15 years after the introduction of the original Prius.

The two brands now offer 11 model lines across multiple market segments and more are on the way – the first RAV4 hybrid, redesigned Prius and new Lexus RX SUV and RC coupe models.

Hybrids now account for more than a quarter of all Toyota car sales and 97% of all Lexus sales in the UK – shares which continue to increase. Hybrid versions of the British-built Auris make up 56% of the model’s home market sales volume while French built Yaris Hybrid is nearing a one-third share of the supermini range’s British sales.

"What initially seemed like a niche approach to giving motoring a new environmental focus has since proved to be a transformative technology that sits firmly in the mainstream, a fact reflected this week in cumulative UK sales of Toyota and Lexus hybrids passing 200,000 units," the automaker's UK unit said.

"Toyota’s pioneering work has demonstrated how cars can be made cleaner and more fuel-efficient without demanding compromises in terms of practicality or performance. At the same time as it has progressively refined and improved its hybrid technology, bringing down emissions and fuel consumption, it has increased the number and variety of models to reach a much wider customer base."

"As a result, hybrid has become the first choice for increasing numbers of UK motorists who appreciate not only the environmental and cost-of-ownership benefits the technology delivers, but also its proven high reliability and its smooth and refined driving character."

Toyota said hybrid remains the core technology in its "roadmap for sustainable mobility and the development of the ultimate eco-car".

It applies the principles of hybrid power across a range of low and zero-emission vehicle powertrains designed to suit different driving demands and environments, including electric vehicles, petrol-electric hybrids, plug-in hybrids and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.