"Japanese firms Toyota and Honda presented new concept cars with hybrid petrol-electric power that are expected to extend their pioneering but costly effort in recent years to mass produce the technology.
"Over the next few years we plan to double our hybrid vehicle offering, ancitipating annual sales of over one million hybrid vehicles by early in the next decade," said Toyota Europe Vice President Thierry Dombreval.
The world"s largest carmaker, General Motors, placed the emphasis in Europe on its new Saab range with bi-fuel technology that allows otherwise standard cars run both an ethanol blend or classic petrol.
Ford was also promising an expansion of similar technology allowing the use of cleaner vegetable-based biofuels across its whole model range by next year, while it launched its new Mondeo saloon.
"Flexifuel technology offers us a real opportunity to make personal mobility more sustainable right now," said Ford of Europe chief executive John Fleming.
Rick Wagoner, president of the world"s largest carmaker General Motors, even predicted that the green wave could trigger deep shifts in the structure of the industry, including new mergers."