Toyota’s Greener Vehicles

The Japanese have been leading providers of greener vehicles fordecades. In the seventies Japan was well known for their fuel efficientvehicles. Today hybrid car sales are led by Toyota’s top-selling Prius.

Eachauto maker is forced to commit to a given strategic objective. Thus farToyota and other Japanese car makers have made some excellent strategicdecisions. Today car makers are being asked to make similar strategiccommitments. According to Takehi Uchiyamada,Toyota’s executive vice-president in charge of research anddevelopment, each automaker is investing resources betting on a giventechnology..

While most automakers are focusing on lithium ionbattery technology, Toyota remains committed to hydrogen fuel celltechnology. Early in August, Toyota Motor Sales (TMS) announced theresults of its fuel cell hybrid vehicle range and fuel economy fieldevaluation. The test reveals that for a typical commute. the Highlanderprototype (FCHV-adv), has a 431 mile estimated range on a single tankof compressed hydrogen gas and an average fuel economy of 68.3 miles/kg(approximate mpg equivalent).

Jared Farnsworth, ToyotaTechnical Center advanced powertrain engineer said, "This evaluation ofthe FCHV-adv demonstrates not only the rapid advances in fuel celltechnology, but also the viability of this technology for the future."

The2009 Toyota Highland Hybrid achieves an EPA-estimated rating of 26 mpgcombined fuel economy and has a full-tank range of approximately 450miles. With premium grade gasoline currently priced at about $3.25, thegasoline-powered V6 Highlander hybrid is estimated to travelapproximately 26 miles at a cost of about $3.25. Currently, hydrogengas pricing is not fixed, but DOE targets future pricing at $2 to $3per kilogram. Therefore, the FCHV-adv is estimated to travelapproximately 68 miles at a projected cost of about $2.50 – more thandouble the range of the Highlander Hybrid, at equal or lesser cost,while producing zero emissions.

Irv Miller, TMS groupvice president, environmental and public affairs added, "Toyota’shydrogen fuel cell technology has advanced rapidly over the last twoyears. In 2015, our plan is to bring to market a reliable and durablefuel cell vehicle with exceptional fuel economy and zero emissions, atan affordable price."

Lexus has the most fuel-efficient of all luxury vehicles with 35 MPG rated. The Lexus HS Hybridhas a Exhaust Heat-Recovery System that reduces engine warm-up time,thus allowing it to stop earlier, more often, and for longer periods.This accounts for as much as a 7% increase in efficiency at lowtemperatures.

Pairing ingenuity with efficiency, regenerative brakingconverts braking energy into electricity to recharge the batteries,while the enhanced Electronically Controlled Braking (ECB) System islighter, smaller and uses up to 29% less power than their previousregenerative braking system.
The combined 35 MPG rated HS Hybrid is over 50%more fuel efficient than Near Luxury competitors, and the mostfuel-efficient Lexus ever. It delivers excellent driving performancewhile earning a Super Ultra-Low Emissions Vehicle (SULEVII) emissionsrating utilizing regular 87 octane gasoline.