Toyota looks to sweeten its green appeal.
The Japanese giant has unveiled a new hybrid flexible fuel vehicle (Hybrid FFV) prototype in Brazil that can run on ethanol as well as standard petrol.
Brazil is one of the largest producers of and the biggest user of ethanol-based fuels most light and small cars required to use ethanol-blend fuels like E25 and many cars are made specifically of Brazil that can run on E100 – these vehicles are referred to as FFVs.
The prototype is based on the Toyota Prius and combines the car's traditional hybrid system with an E100-compatible powertrain.
Toyota claims that the system will reduce CO2 emission dramatically with initial studies indicating that the environmental impact of the Hybrid FFV will be markedly less than other fuels. The Japanese marque comes to these conclusions by estimating the CO2 emissions involved in extracting the raw materials, distribution of the fuel and the combustion process.
However, before the prototype can go into production the brand must carry out further testing to ascertain how it performs from a reliability and durability standpoint along with how the powertrain itself performs.
The push towards promoting its hybrid systems in emerging markets like Brazil is part of the Japanese manufacturers bid to sell 5.5 million electrified vehicles by 2030 and to reduce its overall CO2 emission by 90 per cent compared to 2010 levels.
It is unlikely that such a vehicle would come to Australia as high ethanol-based fuels such as E85 aren't overly popular.
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