Plug in and drive away
Toyota’s new hybrid models are critical for its future
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.
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.
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.
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.