Toyota Prius launched
State Trading Corporation of Bhutan ( STCB) in collaboration with Toyota launched the fourth generation of Prius hybrid car on 16 November in Thimphu.
Toyota hybrid vehicle was first launched in Bhutan in December 2014 by STCBL. For the past two years, around 30 units of hybrid vehicles have been sold in the country.
The hybrid vehicle, which consumes little fuel compared to fuel-based vehicles, is environmental-friendly which goes well with the government’s policy to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and to improve balance of trade situation in the country.
With nine millon hybrid vehicles sold globally, it is seen to reduce the carbon dioxide emission by an estimated of 67 million tonnes.
The Prius hybrid car has a maximum fuel efficiency of 40.8 km per liter.
Launching the car, Finance Minister Namgay Dorji said that as per the records, in the year 2015, out of Nu 12 billion earned from hydropower, around Nu 8 billion was spent on the import of essential fuels. He said that besides environmental benefit, hybrid vehicles will also help overcome Rupee deficit in the country.
The sale of the hybrid vehicle was low compared to other vehicles due to increase in the import tax rate. Managing Director of STCB said, “Although the vehicle import was lifted in 2014, the sale was low mainly due to the increase in tax rate from 0 to 55 percent.
Finance minister as- sured that the import tax rate for hybrid vehicles would be reviewed for obvious advantages.
The fourth generation Prius is the first to incorporate the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA).
Prius is derived from the Latin word meaning forerunner, as it was launched before environmental awareness became a mainstream of social issues.
Hybrid technology is the base technology for plug in hybrids, electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles.
Toyota made the world’s first mass-produced fuel cell vehicle with Mirai in 2014.
The seminar saw about 95 participants from different agencies including government officials and tour operators among others.