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Unique three-year demonstration shows effectiveness of plug-in hybrid with 46% fuel savings

Strasbourg, France - Toyota, French energy provider EDF, the City and the Urban Community of Strasbourg officially concluded the three-year Plug-in Hybrid demonstration launched in Strasbourg on April 27, 2010. The partners revealed the final conclusions collected from this large-scale demonstration, designed to gather real-world vehicle use feedback on Toyota’s plug-in hybrid technology while encouraging the development of a dedicated public access charging infrastructure.

Evidence of the effectiveness of plug-in hybrid technology based on the three-year demonstration covering over 4 million kilometres includes: 

  • Average 46% reduction in fuel consumption compared to conventional gasoline vehicle of similar size with an average charging frequency of 1.1 times a day 
  • Conclusive proof of direct correlation between the recharging frequency and fuel consumption: higher charging frequency leads to lower fuel consumption 
  • Study reveals up to 70% reduction in fuel consumption compared to gasoline vehicle of similar size when recharged 1.6 times a day, leading to a substantial estimated saving of EUR 1,400 on an annual basis
  • Establishment of a dedicated charging infrastructure with 145 charging points (9 in parking and 12 on public spaces) 
  • 60% of the recharges are carried out at work and 37% at home. Public charging points are welcomed by users for supplementary charging Scheduled charging leads to CO2 emissions reductions of 10% to 15%
  • Average cost of recharge is around EUR 0.30 (all costs included)

Performance has been supported by a range of practical measures that have been simple and in many cases cost-free to implement. These include adjustment of heating and air conditioning systems to match building occupancy hours; automatic, remote powering down of computer equipment; and a heating inhibitor system that automatically switches heaters off after a pre-set time when workshop doors are open.

Thomas Rosselle, Toyota Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Affairs, said: “Our commitment to environmental responsibility is not confined to building clean and fuel efficient vehicles, it extends to all areas of our business operations, not least our network of Toyota and Lexus centres.

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Final conclusions 

On average, fuel consumption was reduced by 46% when compared to gasoline vehicles of similar size. This considerable reduction was obtained with an average charging frequency of 1.1 times a day.

In fact, the project conclusively proves that users that recharge more often benefit from significantly higher reduction in fuel consumption than users who recharged less. Take the example of a user that recharges 1.6 times a day. While driving 40% in hybrid mode and 60% in electric mode, the user obtains levels of approximately 70% of reduction in fuel consumption compared to a conventional gasoline vehicle of similar size.This represents a saving of EUR 7.1/100 km (1) in running costs or a saving of EUR 1,400 a year, assuming that the car drives around 20,000 km a year.

On top of reduced fuel consumption for the user, the environment benefits from a larger share of zero emission pure electric driving. Up to 61% of CO2 emissions can be reduced compared to conventional gasoline cars of similar size. 

Michel Gardel, Vice-President of Communications, External and Environment Affairs at Toyota Motor Europe, said: “Thanks to the citizens of Strasbourg who participated in the project, Toyota was able to gather such valuable data which we will use to further promote plug-in hybrid technology. Toyota sees plug-in hybrid technology as the best environmental mobility solution currently available and an important step in the development of the ultimate zero emissions car. We want to make the technology even more accessible for widespread adoption.”

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