Toyota plug-in hybrid electric vehicles good for contract car hire?

JonathanJuly 27, 2011

Contract car hire customers could benefit from leasing one of Toyota’s plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, as early reports suggest that average fuel consumption in London is 27 per cent better than the motor’s diesel equivalents.

According to the manufacturer, these cars are particularly well suited to urban driving environments, with research indicating that average recharging times are 72 minutes and the average journey distance in the hybrid is 7.3 miles.

Toyota GB managing director Jon Williams noted these results are “hugely encouraging” and show that Toyota’s technology has “real value in the urban environment in reducing emissions and fuel consumption”, while simultaneously giving motorists the freedom to travel longer distances thanks to the hybrid system.

Working alongside EDF Energy, the car manufacturer leased 20 hybrids to businesses and organisations in London to monitor recharging patterns and vehicle performance.

In all, the results indicate that Toyota’s 12.5-mile electric vehicle range is enough to cover the day-to-day needs of those drivers that participated in the survey, with 22 per cent of motorists even able to go further than the official 12.5-mile range.

Other findings included that when drivers have domestic charging points, recharging occurs more frequently, while the average speed of motorists was 17.7mph and 69 per cent of all journeys were made at speeds of less than 18.6mph.

EDF Energy’s Eric Salomon made further comments, saying the programme of study has provided “valuable learning and insight”, with the test proving fundamental to EDF Energy’s development of recharging packages.

This comes after Jonathan Visscher of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders noted that carmakers are responding to the interest in low-carbon vehicles from consumers by producing increasingly efficient petrol and diesel cars, all in keeping with the latest European guidelines and standards.

Ford, for example, manufactures one-third of its global green ECOnetic engines in the UK, while Toyota also produces the Auris hybrid in the country.

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