Toyota Motor Corp., the first automaker to release a commercial vehicle that uses both electric and gasoline motors, announced April 22 that total global sales of hybrid models topped 100,000 units during the last four years. The world's third-largest automaker said it sold about 103,000 units of hybrid vehicles between December 1997 and March 2002 in more than 20 countries. Toyota last year released the Estima hybrid minivan and Crown mild hybrid sedan, following the release of the Prius sedan and Coaster bus in 1997. The automaker, which aims to sell 300,000 hybrid vehicles by 2005, has said it plans to equip more of its models with the environmentally friendly engine. Automakers are competing to develop cleaner cars as governments in North America, Europe and Japan set stricter emission rules.