As part of its continued commitment in educating the public on the benefits of vehicle electrification, Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) recently held the first leg of its Hybrid Electric Vehicle Drive Expo at Greenbelt 5 in Ayala Center, Makati City.
During the opening ceremony, TMP president Satoru Suzuki highlighted the company’s advocacy on modernizing mobility through vehicle electrification.
“As the world shifts to alternative energy resources to power our day-to-day transportation needs, TMP is determined to fulfill its part in making sure that the Philippines keeps up with the changing times,” Suzuki said. “It is our duty as the local automotive leader to provide the gateway for more responsible driving, may it be as private car owners, businesses, or commuters.”
He continued that in 2019, Toyota started making HEVs more affordable and accessible to the public with the launch of the hybrid variant of the all-new Corolla Altis. Apart from that, the company also staged its Hybrid Campus Tour in various campuses in the Philippines.
The hybrid variant of the all-new Corolla Altis was on display at the HEV along with the Prius and Prius C. But the star of the event was the Toyota Mirai that came all the way from Japan.
The Mirai, Japanese for “future,” first made its debut in 2014 at the LA Auto Show. Currently, it’s exclusively sold in Japan, United States, and some parts of Europe. It’s an eco-friendly vehicle powered by hydrogen gas. The powerplant of Toyota’s pioneering model is capable of belting out 151hp and 247lb.ft of torque. It also has a cruising range of approximately 300 miles and a refueling time of about five minutes.
During the three-day expo, some visitors got the opportunity to get behind the wheel of the hybrid variants of the Corolla Altis, Prius, Lexus NX300, and RX350.
In an exclusive interview with Wheels.ph, TMP first vice president Cristina Arevalo said that the expo is part of the company’s campaign to enlighten the public on electrified vehicles.
“We are doing this HEV Drive Expo as part of our continuing education campaign for the public to learn more about the hybrid technology and the future of electrified vehicles,” Arevalo said.
“We brought here the Mirai not because we’re introducing it to the Philippines anytime soon, but just to show the public that Toyota already has this technology available, which is commercially available in Japan, US, and other European countries,” Arevalo added. The hydrogen-powered Mirai will not be hitting local streets anytime soon because of infrastructure limitations, Arevalo said that hydrogen fuel would be “a challenge” in the country.
Meanwhile, she also clarified that the Toyota’s hybrid technology does not need charging stations since the vehicles are capable of self-charging.
“I’d like to repeat that (it’s self-charging) because it’s still a misconception that we need to plug it in. No need, It’s self-charging. So, we really believe that this is the way to go. We have to transition to electrified vehicles but we can start already with our hybrid technology,” Arevalo stressed.
The HEV Drive Expo is set to make stops at the SM Mall of Asia and Bonifacio High Street.