Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Toyota is "a hybrid company"

A Toyota Prius hybrid car

Despite the fact that Toyota has received a lot of criticism from some environmentalists regarding its alliance with US automakers over CAFE, Toyota claims it was worth it.

"We have taken hits because of our alliance," U.S. president of Toyota, Jim Lentz, said of the unified stance with U.S. companies on the No.1 regulatory issue to face auto companies in years. "We were willing to take those hits to get a standard the industry could live with."

Nonetheless, Toyota isn't afraid of the new CAFE standards coming out of Congress.

"We're a hybrid company, especially on the passenger car side," Lentz said, noting that in addition to the conventional hybrid cars that Toyota is now selling, such as the Prius and Camry hybrid, Toyota will continue to test plug-in hybrid vehicles.
Labels: Hybrid Vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles, toyota

Source: http://www.hybridcarblog.com/2007/12/toyota-is-hybrid-company.html

Sunday, October 7, 2007

New Camry Hybrid Introduced In Canada

Japanese automaker Toyota has been producing fuel efficient vehicles even before the hybrid era.  And with the Prius, they have cemented their name at the top of the list of green car makers. The Prius though is not the only green car in Toyota's lineup.  There's also the Camry Hybrid which was named as the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada's Canadian Car of the Year. And why is the Camry Hybrid chosen as the best car in Canada?  Well, it has the fuel efficiency that other cars can only dream of, and it has the performance to back that up.
And with the coming of the new model year, the 2008 Camry Hybrid is ready to once again wow consumers and critics alike.  The newest version of the Camry Hybrid was recently introduced in the Canadian auto market by Toyota Canada.  According to theautochannel.com, the new Camry Hybrid "once again delivers all the performance, style, quality and comfort that Canadians demand, with exceptionally low emissions and superb fuel efficiency."
With its hybrid powertrain, the Camry Hybrid produces less greenhouse gases than conventional vehicles even those equipped with Audi oxygen sensor.  The powertrain is essentially composed of an internal combustion engine and an electric motor. The internal combustion engine or ICE runs on gasoline but it has some emission filtration technologies which reduces the amount of potentially harmful gas emitted by the car. The electric motor on the other hand is powered by the car's battery pack which is in turn recharged by the engine and during braking.  The combination of these two powerplant allows the electric motor to ease the load on the ICE which means that during light load and low speed operation, the car does not consume any petroleum fuel.
The fuel efficiency and performance of the Toyota Camry Hybrid has already attracted the attention of many Canadian auto buyers. Tony Wearing, managing director of Toyota Canada said that they have seen an increase in the demand for the fuel thrifty Camry Hybrid.  "We are thrilled that Canadians have embraced the Camry Hybrid," said Mr. Wearing.  "The Camry Hybrid has accounted for almost 20% of all Canadian Camry line sales in the first 7 months of this year.  As Canadian drivers are discovering, the Camry Hybrid delivers more than just great fuel efficiency and a fraction of the tailpipe emissions of a conventional automobile. It's also big on performance thanks to smooth and powerful hybrid acceleration and Toyota's top of the line vehicle dynamics and control technologies."
The 2008 Toyota Camry Hybrid is now available in Canada with a starting price of $32,000.

Source: http://environmentalism.blog.com/2120268/

Thursday, October 4, 2007

GM Tahoe and Yukon hybrid SUVs fuel rating match Toyota Camry’s

Originally, when the GMC Yukon Hybrid and the Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid made their debut, GM said they expect a 25 percent improvement in fuel-economy than their standard versions. GM then said that it expects the hybrid SUVs to get 40 percent better fuel-economy giving them both 19 or 20 miles to the gallon.

Well now, GM is saying that the 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon Hybrid SUVs will deliver fuel economy gains of 50 percent over their non-hybrid models.

GM will officially announced the EPA fuel economy estimates of 21 mpg city and 22 mpg highway for the two-wheel drive hybrid versions of the Tahoe and Yukon, figures that compete with the Toyota Camry (non-hybrid model. Both the Tahoe and the Yukon match the 4-cylinder Camry's 21 mpg city rating and beat the V6 Camry's city rating by 2 mpg.

GM is hoping to sell 10,000 units annually of both hybrid SUVs combined. While pricing has yet to be announced, analysts expect them to be in the mid-$40,000 range.

When the Yukon and Tahoe Hybrid debut this fall, they will be equipped with, what GM calls, a two-mode hybrid that uses two electric motors. The engine is costing GM $10,000.

GM will also offer the two-mode hybrid engine in Cadillac's entire lineup with the Escalade to be the first in 2009.

Source: http://www.egmcartech.com/2007/09/26/gm-tahoe-and-yukon-hybrid-suvs-fuel-rating-match-toyota-camrys/

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Jarrett ponders future with UPS and NASCAR

About two months ago, Nextel Cup veteran Dale Jarrett approached officials from his sponsor, UPS, and essentially put his racing future in their hands.

Together, they are mulling a number of options, including running a limited schedule next season or, perhaps, leaving the ride.
Jarrett, with one year left on his contract to drive the No. 44 Toyota Camry for Michael Waltrip Racing, has had a difficult season, to say the least. He has qualified for only 10 of 29 races, but has raced in 18 thanks to six provisionals and two qualifying rainouts.

"There's so many [scenarios], we couldn't get into it," Jarrett said Saturday at Kansas Speedway.

"The only thing I can tell you, it can be anywhere from one to 36 races. The biggest factor, obviously we want to make Michael Waltrip Racing better, [but] the biggest thing, mainly, is what's best for UPS.

"It would be totally unfair to say they're forcing me to do something because that's not the case whatsoever. I want them to be able to do what's best, and they want me to do what's best. I have a tremendous relationship there. I feel fortunate to have the best sponsor in the business at the end of my career, and I want to do and give them what is best for them and what they deserve."

Source: http://autoracingsport.com/nascar/jarrett-ponders-future-with-ups-and-nascar/

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Hidden hybrid potential: The crossover?

An Edge hybrid - Now that would have been bold

For far too long, American automakers put far too many eggs in the SUV basket. At the same time, the Big 3 also missed the boat on hybrid cars, although they are swiftly paddling up river.

Thus, wouldn't a unique hybrid crossover have been a perfect way for U.S. automakers to morph away from large SUVs while also developing winning hybrid vehicle designs?

For example, had the Ford Edge debuted as a hybrid vehicle, I bet it could have challenged the Toyota Camry hybrid in sales. Since the Camry hybrid is on track to move about 60,000 units, I think Ford would have considered the Edge hybrid as a huge success - that would have been a bold move.

Detroit, it seems, has so far been afraid to challenge the Toyota Prius. A unique hybrid crossover, however, could have challenged Toyota, without any comparison to the Prius, while providing a unique offering to I-only-buy-American, SUV-loving consumers.

Sometimes a flanking maneuver is just better than a frontal assault.

Obviously, the profit margins on a hybrid crossover would be less than a conventional crossover, however, the buzz that can be created by a successful hybrid is almost impossible to buy - exactly the kind of buzz that Ford desperately needs.

Source: http://www.hybridcarblog.com/2007/09/hidden-hybrid-potential-crossover.html

Monday, October 1, 2007

Hybrid accounts for 20% of all Camry sales in Canada

Toyota is widely known as the leader in hybrid sales. The Prius is obviously the flag-bearer of the line-up, but don't forget about the Camry Hybrid. That car won the award as "Green Car of the Year" last year from the L.A. Auto Show, and also won the award from the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada, and it has been selling very well in Canada as well.

In fact, according to Tony Wearing, Managing Director of Toyota Canada Inc., "We are thrilled that Canadians have embraced the Camry Hybrid. The Camry Hybrid has accounted for almost 20 percent of all Canadian Camry line sales in the first seven months of this year." No actual sales figures were presented, but 20 percent of a car that sells as well as the Camry must be pretty good. Considering the harsh weather that drivers in Canada sometimes face, the fact that the hybrid does well there bodes well for the durability of the hybrid drivetrain. Good for our friends from Canada, eh?
Related:Camry Hybrid named 2007 Canadian Car of the YearToyota Camry Hybrid is Green Car of the YearHybrid Lexus RX400 outsells standard version 4-to-1

Source: http://www.autobloggreen.com/2007/10/01/hybrid-accounts-for-20-of-all-camry-sales-in-canada/

Monday, September 17, 2007

GM backs off in-store Malibu vs. Camry comparos

When news came back in May that GM would encourage Chevy dealers to have a Camry on hand for customers to compare directly to the forthcoming Malibu, we lauded the company for walking the walk. Similarly confident in the Saturn Aura, the General ran a program earlier this summer in which Aura shoppers were offered comparison drives in both the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. According to GM, the Saturn program was a success, and Aura sales rose during the promotion. Despite that, the Malibu vs. Camry deathmatch is now officially DOA.
No specific reason has been given for the change of heart. A GM spokesperson says only that "it's been off the table for quite some time" and that "it wasn't the best approach" for the Malibu. The (undoubtedly significant) costs associated placing comparison vehicles in the 4,000+ Chevy dealers was said to not be a factor in the decision.

Source: http://nikhusni.com/cars/gm-backs-off-in-store-malibu-vs-camry-comparos/