The pioneers behind the hybrid technology of the Toyota Prius were three Japanese engineers: Takeshi Uchiyamada, Takehisa Yaegashi, and Yuichi Fujii, who won the award in 2006. At the time, more than one million Toyota Prius vehicles were manufactured yearly, and the technology was also sold to other car manufacturers.
The hybrid technology was considered to contribute to a dramatic improvement of the air quality in cities around the world and, in a longer perspective, to reduce the impact of motor traffic on global climate change.
Dr. Yuichi Fujii was responsible for the electric drive system and the development of a battery that fulfills the specific requirements of a hybrid car.
The 2006 City of Göteborg International Environment Prize, one million Swedish crowns, is jointly awarded to Takeshi Uchiyamada at Toyota Motor Corporation, Takehisa Yaegashi at Toyota Technical Development Corporation and Yuichi Fujii at Panasonic EV Energy. They receive the price for their outstanding, purposeful and critical contributions to the development of Prius, the world’s first commercial hybrid automobile, of which so far half a million have been sold.
Prize winners Mr. Uchiyamada, Mr. Yaegashi and Mr. Fujii donated all of the one million Swedish crowns prize money to Ekocentrum in Göteborg. The purpose of Toyota’s donation is to make it possible for more compulsory school students to visit Ekocentrum over the coming years to view the foundation’s exhibition on the environment and learn more about its educational work.