Toyota proves hybrids have staying POWER

2015-08-27 06:01
The Auris hybrid fleet delivered to Johannesburg by Toyota SA Motors.
 Photo: supplied

The Auris hybrid fleet delivered to Johannesburg by Toyota SA Motors. Photo: supplied

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TOYOTA is proud to announce that it has now sold over eight million hybrid vehicles worldwide, with just 10 months between this and the last million-unit milestone.

Toyota recently delivered a fleet of 30 Auris and Yaris hybrid vehicles to Johannesburg.

The city has recently bought a fleet of 30 Auris and Yaris hybrid models for its “Gone Green” campaign. This campaign is in support of its goal of creating a green city.

“We appreciate our fleet owners sharing our vision to reduce carbon emissions and create a cleaner, greener environment. Purchases like these are testament to that commitment.

“The eight-million milestone is significant and we hope to continue increasing hybrid­ sales in this country,” said Calvyn Hamman, senior vice president of Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM).

TSAM offers the largest range of hybrid models in the local market. The hybrid range extends across multiple segments, including the Premium and SUV segments with the Lexus CT200h, ES300h, GS450h and the RX450h. With the proliferation of our hybrid technology across the range, TSAM has successfully made hybrid technology more accessible to a wider audience, for example the Yaris hybrid in the B-segment. Within the Toyota line-up, hybrid power also extends to the striking Auris hatchback which blends an ultra-stylish exterior with superior efficiency. The range is rounded off with the pioneering Prius, which continues as Toyota’s Hybrid flagship.

Toyota chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada likes to tell the story of how his team couldn’t get the first Prius prototype to move for 49 days. “We had no idea what was wrong, so we worked late every night trying to figure it out. We finally got it to move around Christmas time, but it only went 500 metres.”

That was in 1995, when hybrid cars were unproven, experimental machines with a very unclear future.

Fast-forward 20 years, and the recent sales success globally proves this engine type has staying power.

It might be hard to get a sense of what the number eight million might mean for the environment and for hybrid owners.

For a bit of context, Toyota calculates that as of 31 July its hybrid vehicles have resulted in approximately 58 million fewer tons of CO2 emissions than would have been emitted by gasoline-powered vehicles of similar size and driving performance.

Toyota also estimates that its hybrid vehicles have saved about 22 million kilolitres of gasoline compared to the amount used by gasoline-powered vehicles of similar sizes.

The message is clear - having found homes in driveways around the world, hybrids have staying power. Since the launch of the Prius in 1997, Toyota has been gradually adding hybrid models throughout its range, from the compact Yaris Hybrid to the ultra-luxurious RX Hybrid. As of this month, Toyota sells 30 hybrid passenger car models and one plug-in hybrid model in more than 90 markets.

Over just the past year, Toyota has made several new hybrid models available, including the Esquire Hybrid (Japan only), the Lexus RC300h, and the recently launched Sienta Hybrid.

Other new hybrid models are just around the corner, such as the Corolla Hybrid and Levin Hybrid (China only) and RAV4 Hybrid.

This ongoing roll-out will only continue, with new hybrid models being added to Toyota­’s range and sold in more markets than ever before.

Hybrid technologies, which encompass all of the component technologies necessary for the development of environment-friendly cars and which facilitate the use of different fuel combinations, are positioned by Toyota as core environmental technologies for the 21st century.

Using these technologies, Toyota is also working on improving non-hybrid cars.

Across the board, Toyota aims to enhance performance, reduce costs, and expand its product line-up?including that of non-hybrid vehicles. - Supplied

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