It’s high time the motorists around here went hybrid. With both the government and automotive industry leaders like Toyota pushing for cleaner modes of transportation, conditions for a local shift to hybrid vehicle technology have never been more ideal.
The thought may have crossed your mind: “Why should I choose a hybrid vehicle over one that runs on a conventional diesel or gasoline engine?” Besides the obvious benefits of cleaner emissions, you’re looking at tons of savings in fuel costs, too.
Mass-market hybrids like the Toyota Prius draw power from two sources: An electric motor powered by a self-charging battery and a gasoline engine. This is a setup that provides the vehicle with maximum efficiency, and car owners with undeniable cost-savings. Toyota hybrids, in particular, are "series-parallel hybrids," meaning they pack bigger batteries and motors and can run on pure electric vehicle mode for longer periods of time.
Here’s a bit of information that should give you a better idea on the kind of efficiency hybrids offer: As of December 2018, it’s estimated that Toyota hybrids all across the globe have saved more than 38 million kilometers worth of fuel. And if there’s anything Filipino motorists have learned over the past few months, it’s that fuel prices can get pretty unstable.
There’s also this anxiety over electric vehicles suddenly running out of power in the middle of nowhere. Hybrids do not require new infrastructure to be fully operational and reliable in long drives in our current road conditions. With hybrids, the battery gets charged while the conventional engine is running so users even get extra mileage while saving on fuel. Driving style and traffic conditions vary, but during Toyota Motor Philippines’ latest test drive conducted just last May, the Prius 1.8 was able to cover a distance of almost 620km (from Sta. Rosa, Laguna to Baguio City) while only consuming less than 23 liters of fuel.
Finally, hybrids diversify with every passing generation of cars. Locally, Toyota Motor Philippines pioneered hybrid tech in 2009 and is currently offering the fourth generation Prius along with the more affordable Prius C. In other markets, the carmaker now offers hybrid versions of crossovers like the city-friendly CH-R and sporty RAV4, to execute sedans like the Camry, and even larger vans like the Alphard.
By the tone of the conference, it seems that TMP is now also looking to bring more hybrid variants of its existing models—depending on what’s most suited to the local market.
So yes, there’s a lot to choose from. All that’s left to do is for us to take the leap and embrace the technology. The conditions for a hybrid revolution in the PH have never been more ideal. If not now, then when?
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