By Ram Superable Agustin
Saying electric cars is the future of the transport industry, the local subsidiary of Japanese carmaker Toyota staged a “Hybrid Electric Technology Conference” last Wednesday, May 29, in Taguig City to formally embark on a campaign to push HEVs (hybrid electric vehicles) as a logical route towards having fully electric cars.
At the event, Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) executive vice president Vince Socco said the push for electric vehicles is part of the company’s goals under its “Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050” whose aim is to make “…people, cars, and nature co-exist in harmony.”
Socco said Toyota will not just stop in achieving zero environmental impact, but also in bringing a positive impact towards the world and society.
He said TEC 2050’s initial stages will focus around new vehicles with zero CO2 emissions. This is being already addressed, he said, with the availability of HEVs in the local market and increased availability by 2030 with Lexus HEVs.
An HEV is a type of vehicle that is powered by two sources: an electric motor, and a gasoline engine. By combining the affordability of a gasoline engine and the zero emission of an electric one, a hybrid car can efficiently run and switch between the two sources that enables a better fuel efficiency and driving style.
“Toyota has a whole range of electrified vehicle technology that can help achieve sustainable mobility goals,” stated TMP president Satoru Suzuki during his speech. “Based on current Philippine conditions, it is most appropriate to start with HEV popularization in order to accelerate the reduction of emissions and fuel consumptions,” he added.
Some key features worth noting regarding the capabilities of a Toyota HEV includes its regenerative braking system that eliminates the need of charging the vehicle, as the system itself recovers the mechanical loss during deceleration or braking to generate electricity for charging the battery.
User drivers do not also have to adapt to a new type of fuel since the vehicle can run on normal gasoline. The Toyota HEV also boasts an “EV Mode” that utilizes power on electricity alone, thereby further reducing its carbon footprint.
Currently, TMP has two hybrid model entries for their line-up, the Toyota Prius and Prius C. The Lexus brand, meanwhile, has six offerings: GS 450h, NX 300h, RX 450h, CT 200H, CT 200 F Sport, and the LS 500h.