Toyota Environmental Update
Fifty-fourth issue, February 2009
Third-generation Prius: major enhancements for the hybrid leader
The third-generation 2010 Prius debuted at the 2009 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. A larger, more powerful 1.8-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine, an electric water pump, a new exhaust gas recirculation system, and Toyota's first entirely beltless powertrain contribute to its 50 mpg combined city/highway rating-an improvement of 4 mpg over the current Prius. Its Hybrid Synergy Drive is 90% newly developed, with a 20% lighter transaxle, motor, and inverter, and an electronically controlled regenerative breaking system. Other improvements include three alternative driving modes, one of which allows driving on battery power only at low speed for about a mile; the most aerodynamically efficient body of any mass-produced car; and available moonroof solar panels, which power a fresh air ventilation system when the car is parked and the engine is turned off. The 2010 Prius will be built with processes that reduce pollution at every stage of vehicle life, including the use of plant-derived carbon-neutral "ecological plastics" in the seat cushion foam and other parts. Sales begin in late spring 2009.
Battery-powered urban car in 2012; accelerated plug-in hybrid program
Toyota displayed the FT-EV urban commuter battery-electric vehicle (BEV) concept at the 2009 North American International Auto Show, and concurrently confirmed its plans to launch an urban commuter BEV by 2012. The two-seat FT-EV shares its platform with Toyota's iQ gasoline-powered urban commuter vehicle, sold in Japan. BEVs and smaller, more efficient vehicles like the iQ are key components of Toyota's sustainable mobility strategy.
Toyota also announced a new, earlier starting date of late 2009 for global delivery of 500 plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHVs) to lease-fleet customers for market research and engineering analysis. The PHVs are modified Prius hybrids powered by first-generation lithium-ion batteries manufactured at the PEVE (Panasonic EV Energy Company, Ltd.) plant in Japan, of which Toyota is the majority owner.
The first Lexus dedicated hybrid model
The 2010 HS 250h Lexus debuted at Detroit's 2009 North American International Auto Show. It is expected to offer the best combined city/highway fuel mileage of any luxury car sold in the U.S. Equipped with Lexus' first four-cylinder gas engine, a 2.4-liter Atkinson-cycle power plant, the Lexus Hybrid Drive System generates 187 total system horsepower. HS 250h expected fuel efficiency will be more than 30 percent better than the current most fuel-efficient Lexus model, while earning a super ultra-low (SULEV) emissions rating running on regular 87-octane gasoline. Other advanced features that reduce fuel consumption and emissions include an exhaust heat recovery system to shorten engine warm-up time; a windshield that lowers solar cabin heating; power-saving LED headlamps; and highly efficient aerodynamics with a drag coefficient of 0.27. The HS250h is 85% recyclable at end of life, and the first Lexus to utilize carbon-neutral ecological plastic materials-covering 30% of the interior and luggage areas.
Toyota supports Audubon's youth-focused environmental support program
Audubon's TogetherGreen initiative, funded by a $20 million gift from Toyota, has launched "Pennies for the Planet," a youth-focused conservation program. Participants across the U.S. will collect coins to support habitat and species conservation programs in three regions: Project Puffin and the Seabird Restoration Project off the Maine coast; Four Holes Swamp, an ancient swamp that supports otters, owls, and rare plants in South Carolina; and Wyoming's "sagebrush sea," an endangered habitat for pygmy rabbits, sage grouse, and pronghorns.
"Why Not" communicate with Toyota on environmental issues
As part of its "Why Not?" corporate advertising campaign, Toyota has launched a microsite at www.toyota.com/whynot. It showcases the company's environmental efforts and engages users by encouraging them to submit ideas for innovations in six areas-safety, water, land, air, community, and energy.