The 100 Most Influential People of 2020
By Debbie Levin
September 22, 2020 9:34 PM EDT

Today, it’s hard to imagine a world without hybrids. It’s like trying to imagine a world without computers, or organic food. Hybrids don’t just represent an eco-friendlier form of technology, they represent a half-way point between the past and the future – the exact moment in time when technology and the environment aligned.

Of course, hybrids have come a long way since Toyota first flipped the switch on the auto industry 20 years ago with the Prius. Back then Detroit was still convinced no one would buy an electric car. But Detroit underestimated the influence of Hollywood. Joining forces with the Environmental Media Association, Toyota helped make Prius into a Hollywood status symbol and elevate the image of environmental activism.

Building on its environmental legacy, Toyota is rolling out the 7th member of the hybrid family, the Venza. The new Venza is powered by a hybrid-electric only drivetrain and represents a significant step towards Toyota’s commitment to offer electrification across its entire vehicle line up by 2025 – whether that means hybrid, plug-in or hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles, like the Mirai, which hit California roads in 2015.

Since that initial Prius, over four million Toyota hybrids have cruised America’s roadways. Toyota’s hybrid technology has kept an estimated 77M metric tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere (equivalent to the CO2 emissions produced by burning 8.6 billion gallons of gasoline). By merging style and a commitment to sustainability Venza shows the world you don’t have to make trade-offs to make an impact.

And now that’s influence for the greater good.

Levin is the CEO of Environmental Media Association

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