Plug in and drive away

Toy­ota’s new hy­brid mod­els are crit­i­cal for its fu­ture

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News -

new Camry Hy­brid— with its en­gine made in Aus­tralia— and the on­go­ing Prius five­door hatch­back in 2012.

News of the two Aus­trali­abound hy­brids pref­ace the Tokyo mo­tor show where Toy­ota will show five new hy­brid, fuel-cell or elec­tric ve­hi­cles. One car— the fu­el­cell FCV-R sedan— con­firms Toy­ota is ad­vanc­ing on de­vel­op­ing the al­ter­na­tive au­to­mo­tive fuel.

Its ap­pear­ance— and ex­pected 2015 launch— is the first time the fuel-cell tech­nol­ogy has been seen in a pas­sen­ger car.

It is un­likely Aus­tralia will see the FCV-R un­til its hy­dro­gen fuel is read­ily avail­able. Ja­pan this month starts sell­ing a plug-in ver­sion of the Prius that drives 24km on its bat­ter­ies alone. How­ever, the car, like the FCV-R, isn’t planned for launch in Aus­tralia.

PRIUS C

Aus­tralian launch First quar­ter, 2012 Price About $25,000 Fuel econ­omy about 3.9L/100km The Tokyo mo­tor show rep­re­sents the world pre­miere of the Yaris-based hatch­back. Toy­ota says the sub-4m body length is per­fect for the city, with a plat­form de­signed for nim­ble han­dling. It is pow­ered by a light­weight hy­brid sys­tem of a 1.5-litre petrol en­gine with a high-out­put elec­tric mo­tor. Toy­ota claims 2.5L/100km on the Ja­panese test cy­cle, equat­ing to about 3.9L/100km on the de­mand­ing Aus­tralian test. To be launched in Ja­pan next month as the Aqua.

PRIUS PLUG-IN HY­BRID

Aus­tralian launch Per­haps 2020 Price $35,000 (est) Fuel econ­omy 3.0L/100km This goes on sale in Ja­pan this month. Heav­ily based on the ex­ist­ing Prius but has a new, high-ca­pac­ity lithium-ion bat­tery that can be charged from a house­hold power out­let. Able to oper­ate as an elec­tric ve­hi­cle on short trips (up to 23km) and as a petrol-elec­tric hy­brid on medium to long trips.

FCV-R (PIC­TURED)

Aus­tralian launch Per­haps 2020 Price N/A Fuel econ­omy N/A The world pre­miere of the fu­el­cell driv­e­train has been tested for the past five years in a Kluger-high­lander SUV. It is planned for launch in 2015 in mar­kets that have hy­dro­gen fuel sup­plies. The hy­dro­gen is re­garded as a promis­ing source of CO emis­sion-free en­ergy. Toy­ota claims a 700km range with its high-pres­sure hy­dro­gen fuel tank. Price N/A Fuel econ­omy N/A The lat­est in a se­ries of Toy­ota’s elec­tric con­cept cars, based on the iq city car on sale in Europe. Also mar­keted as an As­ton Martin Cygnet. The FTEV III is de­signed for short­dis­tance trips and has a lithium-ion bat­tery with an es­ti­mated cruis­ing range of 105km.

TOYOTAFUN-VII

Aus­tralian launch Con­cept only Price N/A Fuel econ­omy N/A Toy­ota says this ‘‘ quirky’’ con­cept her­alds a fu­ture in which peo­ple, cars and so­ci­ety are linked.

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