Other than some rather pointless boasting, the announcement also throws up some rather interesting nuggets.
For example, the first ever hybrid that Toyota sold was NOT the Prius, but a Coaster EV bus. Like those minibuses that you see ferrying school children to and from school. Yeah, that one.
Toyota also makes the claim that its hybrid vehicles have saved 18 million tons of CO2 emissions, as compared to if the cars were standard petrol-driven vehicles. I wonder how they made that calculation.
There have been lots of debates as to whether hybrid vehicles really do help save the environment, with many arguments for and against it. I once chatted with a Toyota sales person while test driving the Prius, and he admitted that while in truth, hybrids aren't exactly the be-all-and-end-all solution to saving the Earth, at least they are doing something about it. Taking a small step if you will.
Because these are developing technologies, they aren't exactly perfect yet. Even the car itself as we know it took decades to evolve to what they are today, so who are we to judge hybrid technology, or even electric car technology, as they are now? For all we know they could be as impressive in 50 years time to the cars we have now. It seems to be heading that way, with Porsche and even Ferrari unveiling hybrid cars in recent times.
Perhaps these cars won't give us what we want in our lifetime, but think about it. We've had our fun, with our petrol-driven cars. Now it's the next generation's turn to experience the latest evolution in personal transport.
Like it or not, alternative fuel vehicles will be the future. Just don't expect them to save the world right now.