Toyota vehicles earn top ratings in 2008 environmental vehicle guide
For the seventh consecutive year, Toyota vehicles appear in more categories than those of any other brand in the Green Book's "The Best Of" list, published by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).
Toyota vehicles are included in eight of fourteen categories in the list - one more than last year. The categories are Compact, Subcompact, Midsize, and Large Cars, Compact Pickups, Small Wagons, Minivans, and Midsize SUVs. Toyota vehicles occupy more number-one positions in these categories than those of any other maker, including Prius in Midsize Car, Corolla with manual transmission in Compact Car, Yaris with manual transmission in Subcompact Car, and Sienna in Minivan.
In addition, more Toyota gasoline-powered vehicles than those of any other automaker appear in "The Greenest Vehicles of 2008" list. And three of the twelve vehicles on the "Greener Choices of 2008" list are Toyota models—also more than those of any other automaker.
ACEEE rates vehicles in the Green Book based on U.S. EPA and California Air Resources Board data plus calculations of emissions, including greenhouse gases. For more information, go to GreenerCars.org.
Double the mileage of Prius: Toyota unveils "1/X" hybrid concept car in the U.S.
The Toyota 1/X compact hybrid concept vehicle made its North American debut at the 2008 Chicago Auto Show. Pronounced "1/Xth," the name is derived from its vehicle mass, fuel consumption, and emissions output, each totaling a fraction of that of other vehicles in its class.
The 1/X is a breakthrough demonstration of a forward-looking principle for conceiving more environmentally sensitive cars. The concept is based on radically reducing the weight of the body and other components by using advanced materials and high-energy-density lithium hybrid batteries. Lighter weight enables the use of a smaller and lighter engine for higher mileage and lower emissions. It's a cascading effect resulting in greater efficiency.
The 1/X has fuel mileage estimated to be double that of Prius, and features an ultra-small hybrid powertrain located under the rear seat. The powertrain contains a home rechargeable plug-in hybrid unit with a small 0.5-liter flexible-fuel engine, totaling one quarter the weight of Prius powertrain. The 1/X is designed to be rechargeable at home, and is expected to travel more than 600 miles on a small four-gallon tank of fuel while achieving acceleration performance equal to Prius.
The 1/X's aerodynamic ultra-lightweight design enables greater fuel efficiency. Its interior room equals Prius', yet it has only about one third the curb weight at 926 lbs. Weight reduction is achieved partly by using carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) throughout the body frame. CFRP material is lighter and stronger than traditional metals, resulting in a shock-absorbing structure with cross-sections that absorb energy during impact.
The roof is made of lightweight bio-plastic manufactured from environmentally responsible materials derived from kenaf and ramie plants. Interior features include four ultra-lightweight seats made of polyester fiber.
New York City supports placing hybrids into car-service duty
Toyota Financial Services' Business Solutions team worked closely with New York Mayor Bloomberg's office, the Taxi & Limousine Commission, and the New York City Investment Fund to draft the Black Car Hybrid Initiative. Under this initiative, which is envisioned in New York City's PlaNYC 2030, the traditional black limo-like car service vehicles are to be phased out in favor of fuel-efficient hybrids. This partnership will assist current owners of the city's 10,000 car-service vehicles with the financing required to upgrade to more fuel-efficient models. New York City's goal is to reduce the black car fleet's emissions by 50 percent while ensuring that much of the fleet will be replaced by vehicles such as Toyota Prius, Camry Hybrid, Highlander Hybrid, and Lexus RX400H.
For information, contact Bill Kwong at firstname.lastname@example.org or, for information on Toyota Canada, Kathryn Ruhland at email@example.com. Produced by Robert Oberhand & Assoc., Los Angeles, CA, in conjunction with Toyota Corporate Communications Department.
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