Hybrid Vehicle
Toyota & Lexus

The Toyota Mirai

The wait is over. Toyota launched a new hydrogen powered car at the 2015 Frankfurt auto show. It is no longer a pipe dream, a real Hydrogen fuel cell hybrid production vehicle has arrived on the mass market.

The Mirai uses patented Toyota Fuel Cell Technology but Toyota has announced that it will make over 5000 patents freely available to the automobile industry, at least for a 10 year period.

The goal is to enable automakers to fast track production of hydrogen powered vehicles and thereby ensure a rapid buildup of the related hydrogen infrastructure that is necessary for widespread hydrogen-vehicle use.

The Mirai uses can drive 500km (312miles) on a tank of hydrogen.

Here is Toyotas own presentation of the Mirai.

2005 toyota prius hybrid vehicle

Toyota Prius

The Prius is The Car of the Year 2005!

37 of 58 European motor journalist gave the Toyota Prius their top score as the Prius was woted Car of the Year 2005 in Europe.
The Toyota Prius got a total of 406 points while the next in line, the Citroen C4, got 267 points. The Ford Focus was close in 3 place with 228 points.

What made the difference?

This quote from Car of the Year says it all:

"The pioneer Prius of 1997 set a new standard for clean emissions among petrol-powered cars but Toyotas first hybrid lacked performance, handling and refinement. The Car of the Year 2005 is everything the original was not. It has appealing looks and good accommodation. Performance is relatively lively, with the availability of 110 hp when combining the thrust of the Atkinson-cycle engine and the electric motor. Fuel economy may be outstanding when a gentle driving style is applied, encouraged by the character of this vehicle. At the touch of a button it can even run –silenty – as a pure electric vehicle, but the batteries alone won’t take you very far".

The Prius is selling very well World wide and demand is steadily increasing. To meet this increased demand Toyota's monthly Prius production figures for the Global market are to be boosted by 50% in the 2. QTR of 2005. This will increase production by 5000 units per month! ...from 10.000 units a month to 15.000 units per month.

There is no doubt the Hybrids are catching on.

In August 2004 a Toyota Prius, with 2 persons on board, was driven around Iceland on one tank of petrol. The roundtrip is 1279 km. This translates to slightly less than 4 liters per 100km (approx 60mpg).

26. March 2005
Earlier this week Toyota president Fujio Cho announced plans to sell 62.000 Hybrid SUV's world wide in 2005. The Harrier and Kluger, aka Lexus RX400 and Toyota Highlander, are both equipped with Toyota Hybrid System II utilizing a 3.3L V6 and powerful electric motors and are said to return 41.9 mpg or 5.6 Liter per 100 Km while achieving acceleration figures comparable to same vehicles powered by a 5.0 liter V8 gasoline engine.
President Fujio Cho added that Toyota will be selling a million hybrid vehicles world wide within a few years.

Lexus RX 400 Hybrid Vehicle

Lexus RX 400

The Lexus RX 400h will be powered by a new version of the Hybrid Synergy Drive system that will pair the 3.3-liter V6 that normally powers the RX 330 with an electric motor. Lexus says the hybrid system in the RX 400h is a breakthrough in hybrid technology in that it not only improves the fuel efficiency, but also improves the performance.
The Hybrid Synergy Drive system in the RX 400h produces the equivalent of approximately 270 horsepower at peak power, compared to 230 horsepower for the current RX 330. The additional power will improve low and mid-range acceleration.
The RX 400h will use regenerative braking to improve efficiency with the electric motor functioning as a generator when the vehicle is coasting or braking and converting the energy that is normally lost during braking to electricity.
Denny Clements, Lexus Group vice president and general manager: “We have found that it is not necessarily just about being green, or more fuel-efficient, or even about the higher level of performance. Rather it is all about delivering a better total package”.

NewCarTestdrive says:

It's easy to drive, however. Driving it isn't all that different from driving a regular RX 330 with one major exception: The RX 400h is considered a full hybrid. Most of the time it uses a combination of the V6 and electric motors, but in certain conditions it will run strictly off the V6 engine, and in other situations it will run strictly off the electric motors. Gliding around silently in parking lots and heavy traffic with electric-only propulsion is a different sensation and one that's quite enjoyable.
And you don't have to give up your boat. The RX 400h offers the same 3,500-pound towing capacity as the RX 330, attesting to its capability. The electric motors should work well in the Rockies because high elevations don't drag batteries down the way they do gas engines, but RX 400h drivers should stick to the pavement. Batteries are no match for boulders.

Owners need to rember to add skidplates for the Rubicon! ;)

Toyota Highlander

Toyota Highlander Hybrid Vehicle

The new Toyota Highlander Hybrid SUV can travel more than 600 miles on a single tank of gas and has better fuel economy than a compact sedan’s average of 27.6 miles a gallon (approx 8.5 l/100km) according to a Toyota spokesperson. The new SUV, which looks on the outside like the current gasoline-powered Highlander, also will be able to go from California to Florida making fewer smog-producing emissions than what comes from “a can of air freshener,” the same Toyota spokesperson said. The vehicle uses virtually the same powerplant that’s in the upcoming Lexus Hybrid, which will be on the market by the end of this year. Specifically, the Highlander Hybrid will have an electric motor mated to a 3.3-liter V6, officials said. It’s expected to be the first seven-passenger SUV with a gas-electric powertrain offered for sale in the United States. Front-drive models of the Highlander Hybrid will be standard. Four-wheel-drive Highlander Hybrids will be equipped with front and rear electric motors that will be capable of providing instantaneous acceleration.

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