Toyota holds first HEV Drive Expo

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Angel Rivero
Angel Rivero
You may remember Angel as Tado's trusty driver 'Erning' from the defunct Filipino satire show, Strangebrew. These days, she enjoys spending her time driving around the country and to distant lands, in search of interesting cuisines and unique adventures. She also occasionally competes in circuit and endurance races. Tama!!

Do Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs) tickle your fancy? They’re truly interesting machines that bridge the gap between our conventional, fuel-powered vehicles and the fully electric vehicles of tomorrow. They appear to be a more immediately viable option for the slow transformation process in developing countries such as ours — and Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) has been the leader in jump-starting this local metamorphosis by pushing ever-harder for the motoring public to better understand and, hopefully, embrace the magic of going electric. 

It’s been a long time since TMP first introduced the globally successful Toyota Prius to the Philippine market, followed by the more affordable Prius C compact hybrid. And fairly recently, TMP launched its most price-convincing hybrid offering yet — the Toyota Corolla Altis Hybrid (selling for an attractive P1,580,000 —given that the local government has not yet offered massive tax incentives similar in scale to that of other countries who are strongly pushing for electric vehicles).

The Prius C Hybrid hatchback

TMP also held a Hybrid Campus Tour series this 2019 — which involved a run of school visits that engaged science and engineering students in educational seminars about hybrid electric vehicles, and which gave them the opportunity to test drive the Prius C or the new Corolla Altis Hybrid within campus grounds.

“Toyota’s initiative reflects the global shift to cleaner energy sources, and addresses the numerous crises we are experiencing now,” expressed TMP first vice president Cristina Arevalo. Further explaining, “From energy conservation, transportation, and global warming, TMP wants to make sure that we are doing our part for a more sustainable future. We chose to start with university students because they are the shapers of tomorrow.”

The latest-generation Prius HEV

And to extend their reach to the greater public, TMP last week held its first Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) Drive Expo at the Greenbelt 5 Fashion Walk in Ayala Center, Makati. The expo offered on display the Toyota Prius, Prius C, Corolla Altis Hybrid, and as a special treat — the Hydrogen Fuel-Cell-powered Toyota Mirai. The Mirai showcases 153hp, about a 500-km range, and is already offered in developed countries such as Japan and the USA; but will not yet be offered in the Philippines due to our current lack of infrastructure to support hydrogen fuel technology.

Nevertheless, its presence provided for an interesting peek into the other car technologies of the future.

TMP president Satoru Suzuki addresses the audience at the opening of the first Toyota Hybrid Electric Vehicle Drive Expo at Greenbelt 5 in Makati City

Alongside Toyota’s intriguing exhibit was also a display of the hybrid vehicle offerings of its luxury brand, Lexus. Carefully positioned in the Lexus section were the NX 300h, LS 500h, and RX 450h — all currently available for purchase in the Philippines. Toyota and Lexus brand ambassadors were available on site to answer every visitor’s questions; and fun games and activities were on offer for interested, hybrid-savvy participants.

Best of all, the event was also a rare opportunity for the general public to test drive Toyota’s latest lineup of HEVs.

The Lexus NX Hybrid SUV

HEVs are globally hailed for: their quietness; their exceptional fuel efficiency (due to the electric motors that work in tandem with traditional internal combustion engines, that charge them); their reduced emissions (due to having to burn less fuel); and their acceleration (because electric motors have high torque output from zero rpm, and strongly assist the conventional IC engines in powering the car forward).

The Lexus lineup of hybrid vehicles

If you missed the Toyota HEV Drive Expo, there are still other mall tours to catch. The next ones being at the SM Mall of Asia from Dec. 5 to 11, and at Bonifacio High Street from Dec. 18 to 22. Stay tuned for further updates and announcements from Toyota.

The Toyota Corolla Altis Hybrid
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