Toyota announces environmental initiatives at its Sustainable Mobility Seminar
The recent Toyota Sustainable Mobility Seminar in Portland, Oregon featured a series of in-depth presentations from world-renowned experts on key environmental, energy, and urban design issues. The seminar also included presentations from Toyota executives outlining how the issues are shaping Toyota's mid-term and long-term product plan.
In addition, several Toyota environmental announcements were made during the event:
• Four off-lease RAV4 electric vehicles will help the City of Portland and the state of Oregon to develop an electriccharging
infrastructure in preparation for the arrival of future zero- and low-emission vehicles. Portland State University will use the vehicles to shuttle people from mass-transit terminals to downtown and suburban locations.
• A natural gas–powered Camry hybrid concept vehicle will be displayed at the Los Angeles Auto Show in
• The largest single roof solar power system in North America goes into operation in October at Toyota's North American Parts Center in Ontario, California, supplying nearly 60 percent of its electricity needs, and avoiding the annual release of approximately 6.4 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.
• An additional five Toyota dealerships will receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council by the end of 2008; up to ten more could be certified in 2009.
• The cost of replacement Toyota hybrid vehicle batteries has been reduced by 10 percent. Toyota is also studying the business case for manufacturing the batteries in North America to further lower replacement costs.
Toyota tests Prius plug-in hybrid cars in the UK
In September, Toyota and EDF Energy, a British subsidiary of French energy company EDF, began testing plug-in Prius hybrid vehicles on public roads in the United Kingdom.
Following Japan, the United States, France, and Belgium, the UK is the fifth nation in which Toyota has conducted tests of plug-in hybrid vehicles on public roads. Worldwide testing began in 2007.
The prototypes are designed to operate like the current Prius, yet distinguished by greater electric power via a second
nickel-metal hydride hybrid battery pack. With increased electric power in reserve, the vehicle is capable of operating in pure-electric mode longer and faster than the current Prius. Toyota is also accelerating development of plug-in hybrid vehicles equipped with lithium-ion batteries, with sales to fleet customers planned for the end of 2009. Toyota sponsors and supports National Public Lands Day across the U.S.
For the 10th consecutive year, Toyota sponsored National Public Lands Day (NPLD), September 27, 2008, the largest national hands-on volunteer project for improving the environment. At multiple locations around the country, Toyota associates joined other volunteers to plant trees, clear brush, maintain trails, reseed barren lands, eliminate invading plant species, restore natural habitats, and clean up beaches.
For example, at the Salato Wildlife Education Center in Frankfort, Kentucky, volunteers from Toyota and the community built a 200-ft. boardwalk along the "Toyota HabiTrek Trail," which Toyota began supporting in 2003. They also improved access for the handicapped, created two new trails, and performed trail maintenance.
Lexus launches second Eco Challenge
Lexus and Scholastic have launched the second annual Lexus Eco Challenge with the support of third-generation oceanographer and environmentalist Fabien Cousteau, grandson of Jacques Cousteau. The educational program and contest inspires and empowers middle and high school students to learn about and improve the environment. Teams comprised of 5-10 students and one teacher will participate in three challenges (land, water, and air/climate),developing, executing, and reporting on action plans. Winning teams will receive $10,000 in scholarships and grants.
For information, contact Jana Hartline at Jana_Hartline@toyota.com or, for information on Toyota Canada, Kathryn Ruhland at firstname.lastname@example.org. Produced by Robert Oberhand & Associates, Los Angeles, CA, in conjunction with Toyota Corporate Communications Department.