Toyota’s hybrid switch shows how green is the new route for big players

Toyota Corolla Hybrid Saloon

On-street evidence suggests that Toyota’s switch to hybrid cars only has not frightened off the buyers. There are quite a number of new hybrid Toyota cars on the roads although it remains to be seen if those buyers will be happy to continue choosing this form of powertrain into the future. Lots of Irish buyers have had a love affair with the brand over the years and this looks like continuing for now.

Hybrid technology really is not too difficult to understand. You get a regular petrol engine – 1.8-litre in this case – that is matched with an electric motor and each work together and separately depending on the driving forces you are applying at the time. At low speeds, the electric motor does all the driving, raise the pace and the petrol engine kicks in and as you drive along and decelerate or brake, the batteries that drives the electric motor is recharged as you go.

Simplified, this week’s test car, the new Toyota Corolla hybrid Luna saloon is a genuine money-saver on short lower-speed journeys. Around town it makes a huge difference but, on longer trips at normal or higher speeds, then the economies are clearly reduced.

Strange as it may seem, back in 2013 when Toyota launched a new Corolla diesel at the time they advertised possible fuel consumption figures of 3.9L/100km. For this car the promised return is 3.4L/100km. CO2 figures then for the diesel were forwarded at 102g/km while today the hybrid – albeit under much stiffer WLTP measurements – comes in at 100g/km. My fuel return over a combined 1,100 kilometres in all sort of journeys came in at 6.3 litres per kilometre. You can however get it much lower when keeping an eye on it around town and you could easily reach the advertised level.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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