Toyota As Prius Plug-in Sets First Nurburgring Record For Fuel Economy

Toyota Prius is the vehicle which is rarely sold in India, and the condition is almost similar in the most of markets.

What if the salesman at Toyota showrooms conveyed – the Prius Plug-in had set a record at Nürburgring? We guess, it may change the attitude of the customers then, but to be precise the Japanese automaker had set the record with its Prius!

Don’t get excited; the record was for the fuel-economy attained at the Nurburgring after driven the car at 40mph. The automaker achieved an astonishing fuel-efficiency of 698mpg during a single lap of the notorious Nordschleife.

Toyota Prius

The lap was covered in 20 minutes and 59 seconds. Motoring journalist and Japanese car expert Joe Clifford was behind the steering wheel of a standard Prius Plug-in, which he had recently upgraded with the addition of TRD parts that are purely for the styling and no technicalities upgrade.

Commenting about the record, Clifford said: “We used no special tricks for this test. We simply took a fully charged car, fitted it with low rolling resistance tyres and drove the lap, among all the other public drivers taking the opportunity to experience the challenge of the Nürburgring.”

He further added, “Although the 12.9-mile distance is similar to a typical commuter trip, the difference here is a rise and fall in elevation of around 1,000 feet. In fact it was only on one long climb that the petrol engine cut in, and then only for a short while. Without that, we think we might have even achieved the ultimate 999.9mpg read-out – the highest figure the display can show.”

Under the hoods, the car holds a 1.8-litre Atkinson cycle petrol engine with a compact, rechargeable lithium-ion battery.

Toyota Studying More Possibility of Prius for Indian Shores

When the whole world is going hybrid then why India should be left behind from that heated trend, so to make the things better here Toyota is studying hybrid-possibility for our local market.

To an extent, the well renowned Prius hybrid exists on our Indian shores, and is being a due for an increment to the existing range of automaker’s specified range, who now had vowed “more” lined-up for this particular segment of global market, which can be termed as a plan to sell 1 million newly launched hybrid models till 2015.

As learnt, Toyota had 18 hybrid models in the pipeline meant to be rolled out till 2015, out of which 5 are the re-modeled version of present makes.

Toyota Studying More Possibility of Prius for Indian Shores

Getting into the sneak peek, Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) had crossed sales figure of 50 lakh hybrid vehicles on 31st March 2013, as calculating the numbers since 1997, the time when this Japanese carmaker had launched its first hybrid in world, present total accumulates out of 19 hybrid models and a one plug-in being sold across 80 countries; whereas the Prius in India too had witnessed an increment of 70% i.e. to 12 units in 2012-13 from 7 units in the last financial year.

Meanwhile, a statement from top brass of Toyota in Japan had made us to think twice on the bespoken Prius issue, as he says, ”We have already introduced the Prius to Indian market and we will continue to study the Indian market to introduce new hybrid models in India at appropriate times.”

One can say that, high pricing is the sole pinching factor behind low sales of Prius, slated to be an outcome of the CBU route which makes the selling cost high, as burgeoned with lumps of high taxes and duties on the fully build cars unlikely to only handful of overheads in CKD route. Well the officials had declined to comment frugally on the possibility of adopting that latter option in India, as they say, “Depending on the future market dynamics, we will study and take a decision accordingly.” Toyota also had not inclined any time frame for same, so we can say that the plans are still on shaky grounds, needs to be worked out properly on behalf of Indian context.

Lastly, for claiming the top line of Prius, Toyota had priced it in between Rs 29.26 lakh and Rs 31.43 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).

Toyota Expects US Supplies of Prius to Pick Up by 70% in June

Toyota Motors was one of the many Japanese auto companies, which had to shut down production after facing shortage of component supplies, because of the earthquake and tsunami which struck Japan in March. According to recent reports, the company said that the supplies for their popular Hybrid Prius will pick up by 70% of its normal level by the next month.

According to the Group VP of Toyota’s US SalesThe US unit of the Japanese auto company will reportedly receive around 36,000 Prius models for June, July and August sales or around 12,000 models a month. This figure is expected to increase if the Japanese production recovers at a greater pace. The following three months could see supplies 60 to 70% of their normal levels, though according to Bob Carter, this is a huge improvement.

With increasing supply, the auto manufacturer would be able to take greater advantage of the rising demand in the market for electric-gasoline models in the midst of increasing fuel prices. Toyota had earlier stated early in the year that could set a sales record in the US for their Prius model, before the earthquake and tsunami struck Japan, damaging power plants and part factories, interrupting the production of auto, so that dealers in the US were left with hardly any inventory, if at all.

According to reports, there were also mentions that the sales of the Prius would decline this month in the US, in comparision to sales a year before in the corresponding period, due to shortage of auto parts. Carter said that if they had twice the number of Prius models than before, they would easily be selling twice the models. The company is trying to provide cars to those who want them; however, it will take some time before this happens.

Indian Government promoting hybrid cars

Hybrid cars or the ones which pollute Earth the least are very much in demand all over the world. In India however with the Government apathy, there aren’t many hybrids to be seen. All we had in India were the Maini Reva cars, a few Honda Civic hybrids and the very costly Toyota Prius. Not to forget the stratospherically priced Porsche Cayenne Hybrid. Well, that is all set to change with the Indian government waking up from its slumber. It seems that they have finally recognized the need of saving Mother Earth as also reduce the dependence on fossil fuels. The Government would now be on a hybrid drive, encouraging manufacturers to come up with hybrid cars. For the small cars or to be precise, ones measuring less than 4 meters are classified as small cars and entail to only a 10% excise duty whereas anything bigger than 4 meters gets classified under in the big car category and are levied 22% tax.

Mr Praful Patel, Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Minister is said to head this drive. It is said that he would put forth the proposal for having excise sops for development of green (hybrid) cars as also sponsor for the research involved in them. A high level panel is to be formed, based on the approval from the cabinet and one which would give the green signal to this project. It is also noted that maximum by September 2011, this proposal would be finalized. The Toyota Prius is said to be the brand mascot for a greener India. It is widely known that the Toyota Prius is one of the most acclaimed hybrid cars in the world but then in India, it sells in paltry numbers due to its very high sticker price of Rs 25 lakhs. If everything goes alright, this car would be promoted by the Indian Government and be given many fiscal sops as well.

New variants of Prius to hit US market, India on hold

The darling of the environmentalist, the dream of every clean-air lover, the fantasy of every budget-driven mind, the hybrid from the stable of Japanese car maker Toyota is none other than the Toyota Prius. Environmentalists world over have fallen for its grace and respect for their concerns. With expectations running so high, along comes a far greater responsibility. And the master of such art is the auto giant Toyota. The car maker has pulled off a coup the world over and now is planning to add a van and a hatchback in the Prius family. Toyota Motors launched its new Prius C and V at Detroit. The C stand for City and the V stands for Van. The all new Prius V will be a tad bigger than the conventional Prius and it is touted to be a MPV whose production is expected to commence from the 2nd quarter of the year. The Prius C on the other hand will be a hatchback and is a tad smaller than the run-of-the-mill Prius. The latter is expected to go into commercial production by the mid of next year. The production will be based on a toned down version of the styling showcased at the motor show. In spite of being frugal, these cars are not meant to be sold in the Indian markets. Economical as they are in terms of fuel economy, the cars will cost an astronomical amount after duties levied on them.

Sanyo may provide Li ion batteries to Toyota

The reason that we don’t see many of Toyota Priuses on the Indian roads is not due to the lack of public’s apathy to this green car but its very high sticker price of about Rs 30 lakhs. Toyota Kirloskar Motors have identified this shortcoming and are thinking of reducing the price of this very capable car and making it more affordable for the masses.

$8.7 billion US dollars is the amount that the company has already spent on development and research of the battery technology. Now in a bit to reduce the price of this car, the company is looking towards Sanyo Electric Company for its Li-ion batteries. Sanyo Electric Company is quite well known for producing Lithium-ion battery packs, electronic components and many other electric goods. The Toyota Prius is the world’s best selling hybrid car in terms of sales and sheer appeal. Infact, Toyota is keen on introducing more EVs into the Indian as well as international market the moment the new technology comes into place.

More and more auto makers are focusing on Electric Vehicles (EVs) to curb the environmental crisis and their dependence on fossil fuels. EVs burn clean and have instant torque on demand. Many of the governments actually give incentives on electric vehicles. In India, in a bid to promote the sales of electric vehicles, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, have decided to reduce the cost of electric vehicles by 20%. This means that electric cars would have approximately Rs 1 lakh off their sticker price whereas low speed electric two wheelers would be cheaper by an estimated Rs 4,000 whereas high speed two wheelers would sport a price tag lower by Rs 5,000. This move would help consumers as well as manufacturers alike and is in effect from November 2010. This decision has been welcomed by many for the only thought that  more and more Electric Vehicles would make it onto the Indian roads.