On 10th June we learned that Australia’s first locally manufactured hybrid car will roll off Toyota’s production line in less than two years, in a deal Victorian Premier John Brumby has heralded as a ‘coup’.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Toyota’s president Katsuaki Watanabe made the announcement today in Japan.
ABC News: Brumby lauds $35m Toyota hybrid ‘coup’
I don’t have any axe to grind over Hybrid cars, I’d just like to know the truth about how ‘green’ they really are. In the US and UK there has been some controversy over the ‘dust to dust’ or ‘life cycle’ CO2 emissions, costs and energy useage of the Toyota Prius. Toyota supposedly produced their own report, which to the best of my knowledge has never been made public. A CNW Marketing report claimed that the dust to dust cost per mile for a Toyota Prius was $3.249, compared to $3.027 for Hummer H2. There is more in a balanced article from the UK Telegraph from 2007 entitled: Who are you kidding?
This news has reached Australia:
As more Australians scramble to buy hybrid petrol/electric cars, Britain’s biggest-selling auto magazine has taken a swipe at them, saying hybrids are no better for emissions than an efficient diesel or petrol-driven car.
The magazine Auto Express says none of the hybrids’ advertised emissions figures were borne out in their test drives.
ABC News: Hybrid cars ‘not so green’
Meanwhile, Toyota are promising a ‘plug-in’ hybrid for 2010.
Thanks to Luke for alerting me to Australia embracing the hybrid car, while I was on holiday in Spain – I’m still catching up!