Aug 7, 2009 | 15
For Toyota, it's not just about hybrids (that is, the Prius). Yesterday, the company announced the results of a sunny 331-mile jaunt in Southern California from Torrance to Santa Monica and back again at the end of June. Toyota engineers, accompanied by U.S. government partners, coaxed 68 miles per kilogram of hydrogen out of the Toyota Highlander Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicle (FCHV-adv). That's a range of 431 miles on a single tank at a fuel cost estimated at $2.50 per 68 miles (for hydrogen produced from natural gas).
Jan 5, 2009 | 9
Toyota won't just be adding solar panels to its popular Prius gas-electric hybrid car—like the solar electric conversion kit seen at left—it'll be powering a version of it exclusively via sunshine, according to The Nikkei, Japan's business newspaper. In fact, Toyota will be relying on the solar-electric car to "turn around its struggling business," which resulted in its first operating loss in more than 70 years, the Associated Press reports.
ScientificAmerican.com and other media outlets reported last summer that Toyota was planning to begin selling a Prius with some solar panels as early as May of this year. But the latest reports are that the Japanese automaker is seeking to build a totally solar-driven vehicle.
Sep 7, 2008 | 6
In advance of the Paris International Auto Show in early October, Honda has released photos of its new entry-level hybrid car, which the press has (naturally) labeled the “Prius-fighter.” Reports indicate the Insight, a five-door family hatchback that is scheduled to hit dealership floors worldwide next year, is to be priced around $18,000, some $3,000 less than Toyota’s vaunted Prius gasoline-electric hybrid.
The new Insight will be powered by the latest iteration of Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid technology, which will be significantly cheaper than its current systems, according to press reports. The IMA is a parallel hybrid system with an electric motor mounted between the engine and transmission to act as a starter motor, engine balancer and traction motor assist. The new, more cost-efficient powertrain accounts for the low price tag, making it potentially the most affordable hybrid model on the 2009 market.
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