Toyota is to drop petrol engines from two of its big-selling ranges in favour of hybrid-only line-ups.
The Corolla and C-HR ranges will only have hybrid models from next year.
The company has decided to stop selling the 1.6-litre and 1.2-litre petrols in the Corolla (saloon, hatchback respectively) amid increased demand for hybrid-powered models.
And the C-HR family SUV/crossover switches to hybrid only as its 1.2-litre petrol version is to be dropped.
Toyota Ireland says that the “unprecedented demand for hybrid eliminates the need for the petrol option”.
Its decision to end petrol sales in such key model ranges comes 16 months after the company announced it was stopping diesel-car production.
In a comment that may irk some competitors, Toyota Ireland chief executive Steve Tormey claimed that if all other automakers offered a full range of hybrids “Ireland’s environmental outlook would immediately be a lot rosier”.
He said hybrids, exclusively automatic, have several advantages over pure fossil-fuelled vehicles. They include fuel efficiency, low NOx and zero emissions’ mode driving for 60pc of the time.
Mr Tormey added: “Some might say this is a brave move given the perceived market dependency on pure fossil-fuel powered cars, but for us the decision to double down on self-charging hybrid over petrol makes absolute sense. The numbers don’t lie.”
He predicted that 92pc of their passenger car sales across all models next year will be hybrid.
From 2020, the only petrols in the Toyota line-up will be the Yaris 1-litre petrol and Aygo. So far this year, more than 85pc of Corolla (pictured) and 90pc of C-HR sales have been hybrids.