Home > Ask Gary, Uncategorized > What happened to the Toyota plug-in vehicles? Are they still making them and is there still interest with gas prices so low?

What happened to the Toyota plug-in vehicles? Are they still making them and is there still interest with gas prices so low?

Mirai Fuel Cell.png

Fuel-cell Toyota Mirai coming in 2016

There is still a big movement in the country to have “greener” cars that don’t emit gas and have lower fuel costs. After Toyota produced the battery-powered Prius, Toyota developed state-of-the art hydrogen fuel-cell technology with zero emissions.

According to Toyota executives, the traditional plug in technology is an excellent solution for shorter-distance driving, while the longer drives are more appropriate for fuel-cell technology. In fuel-cell technology in the 2016 Toyota Mirai which will be available later this year, the hydrogen tanks are durable yet lightweight and solid and do well in crash tests since they have a three-layer design. This futuristic vehicle has only one downfall and that is the higher cost.

Cambridge Charging StationThe best technology that is affordable and accessible, and in which Toyota excels, is hybrid technology. As the first mass-produced hybrid in the world, Prius has had the highest sales in the world with 8 million sold since 1997.  Now available in 4 model levels, the 3rd generation Prius is a true full hybrid – one reason for its EPA-estimated combined 51 MPG rating.  It has evolved over the years (as documented here).

The same hybrid technology is now available in the Camry, Avalon, RAV4 and Highlander, with impressive mileage rates of 39-43 miles per gallon, depending on city or highway driving. In a Boston Globe Automotive section review, the headline read the “Toyota RAV4 a Worthy Addition to Hybrid Lineup,” and comes with an EV (electric vehicle) button to operate on battery power only at lower speeds. These vehicles are all affordable and have the benefit of additional savings on gas – not to mention the social and environmental benefit of cleaner, greener vehicles, with lower harmful emissions.

Toyota is temporarily pausing production of the Prius plug-in after the 2015 model year, but they remain committed to the continued progress of alternative-fuel vehicles. As they work toward even more efficient vehicles, the next Prius Plug-in Hybrid vehicle will arrive later in 2016 after the launch of the all-new Prius liftback and will feature significant enhancements in performance, design and technology. In the meantime, the all-new Prius liftback will once again revolutionize the hybrid market, and the history-making Mirai fuel-cell vehicle is ready to help lead the hydrogen movement.

What is also exciting for this Toyota Volvo dealership, is that the Volvo XC90 T8, a seven-passenger plug-in hybrid SUV, took the honor of 2016 Luxury Green Car of the Year. Jaffarian Volvo Toyota is pleased to have a number of these hybrid vehicles in stock.

Battery-powered and fuel-cell stations are becoming more wide-spread. As I’ve traveled around, I’m always impressed to see the public stations in shopping plazas, office buildings and public parking lots. Kohl’s department stores, committed to greener stores KohlCharging_Stationand the environment, has 101 charging stations in 52 of their locations in 14 states, including some in New England. Massachusetts is a state that offers rebates for both owners of electric vehicles and corporate owners of fleets. There are also incentives for offering charging stations at workplaces and other commercial settings.

Spring is right around the corner and now with more daylight hours, you can  enjoy the driving! Think green—for spring, for St. Patrick’s Day and for more environmentally-friendly vehicles!

Ask Gary Jaffarian

Categories: Ask Gary, Uncategorized
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