Toyota (GB) said UK sales of its hybrid cars had reached 300,000 units or 400,000, counting in the Lexus models.

This has taken 19 years since the original Prius went on sale.

The company now bills non-PHEV models 'self charging' hybrids and claims technical advances over the years mean its models are capable of covering up to 50% of the average European urban commuting journey in all-electric 'EV' mode.

Year to date to the end of May, Toyota hybrid sales rose 13.8% year with Lexus volume up 11.7.

Together the two brands alone are claimed to account for almost half the UK's alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) market (49.4%), currently selling five times the rate of battery electric vehicles (BEVs).

Toyota (GB) said: "Hybrid offers specific benefits to fleet operators and company car drivers, notably with low benefit-in-kind tax rates, the proportion of business and retail sales is near-equal."

To the end of May this year, hybrids accounted for 57.5% of Toyota new car sales. The range extends from the Yaris supermini to the RAV4 SUV and includes the recently relaunched Camry.