Source: MIL-OSI Submissions
Commercial customers such as Frucor Suntory and Griffins move to hybrid fleets
Every time Toyota sells a new hybrid vehicle, which happens, on average, 15 times a day, the resulting lower carbon emissions are good for the customer, and the brand.
Hybrid sales by the auto maker increased from 1,337 in 2017 to 5,159 in 2019 and are on track to increase further in 2020 with 3,627 sold by the end of July.
Overall, the emissions profile of the Toyota and Lexus model range sold each year in New Zealand has been dropping, with another 0.6% drop in the six months to July 2020. Combined, the average Toyota and Lexus carbon dioxide emissions profile year to date* was 167.5 CO2 g/km. The industry average across all manufacturers is sitting at 175.9g/km year to date*.
The introduction in August of the new generation 2020 Toyota Yaris with a hybrid powertrain will further reduce Toyota’s fleet emissions profile. The new hybrid Yaris Hatch will not only offer class-leading fuel efficiency of 3.3L per 100km but a carbon emission rate of just 76g/km.
Toyota New Zealand Chief Executive Officer, Neeraj Lala says Toyota is on a mission to reduce greenhouse gases from its manufacturing processes through to its product offering. It is focused on offering a hybrid version for the entire range, new battery electric vehicles, as well as investing into hydrogen fuel cell technology.
“It’s satisfying to report that the high number of hybrids sold is helping Toyota achieve two objectives – reducing our overall emissions as a brand and helping us support the New Zealand Government’s target to reduce gross carbon emissions by 30%** by 2030,” Neeraj says.
“CO2 reductions are a journey for Toyota and our customers,” says Neeraj. “This is why hybrids help us achieve reductions as we transition to alternatives when supply, infrastructure, and demand is ready. The customer transition has been more evident as the new generation of hybrid have the capability to outperform traditional petrol alternatives.”
In New Zealand, hybrids have been selling well across the range with demand for the 2019 RAV4 Hybrid outstripping supply. Since its release in March 2019, Toyota has sold 8,313 RAV4s, of which 49% were hybrid. However, since the beginning of 2020, the percentage of hybrid RAV4 sales has been steadily climbing and reached 81% of sales in July. Toyota sold 2,141 RAV4 Hybrids in the first seven months of 2020.
Many of Toyota’s customers are fully committed to sustainability as well. In another demonstration of their absolute commitment to reducing emissions across their operations, leading beverage supplier Frucor Suntory is replacing its entire sales vehicle fleet across Australia and New Zealand with energy-efficient Toyota RAV4 Hybrids. The new fleet allows savings of approximately 300 tonnes of emissions each year for the business.
Frucor Suntory Head of Sustainability Ben Walkley says: “Things like replacing our entire sales fleet with low-emissions vehicles not only help us to reduce our carbon footprint, they are also sound business decisions that help to reduce overall costs.”
In July 2019, the Griffin’s Food Company made the decision to adopt a Toyota hybrid fleet for its vehicle eligible employees. A spokesperson says, “We’re thrilled that since that time, our fleet’s total CO2emissions have reduced by about 18% – a welcome contribution to lightening our environmental footprint and making every bite, that little bit better”.
Silver Fern Farms has a fleet of 39 Toyota RAV4 Hybrids. The company says moving vehicles to hybrids is a small part of its verified emissions reduction plan. “We are the first red meat processor and marketer in New Zealand to receive the CEMARS certification of our carbon emissions, and we are determined to lower our footprint. This partnership with Toyota plays a part in that,” a spokesperson says.
“It’s great to see so many fleets adopting our hybrid vehicles in a bid to reduce their carbon footprint,” Neeraj says. “As a brand, we are committed to keep offering low emission options for our customers.”
Hybrid systems employed by Toyota use advanced technology to capture energy from braking and from the petrol engine and stores it as electricity in a battery. The car decides for itself when it needs electric power or conventional power. Driving at low speed in heavy traffic or around a car park, it will automatically shift to electric only. The petrol engine also automatically shuts off when the vehicle stops rolling or is using the battery.
The extra technology required for a hybrid vehicle makes the car more expensive to build, but Toyota has kept the price differential between a petrol and hybrid versions of vehicles minimal.
“We deliberately keep the price difference down as we genuinely want people to access our fantastic hybrid options,” says Neeraj. “We have seen through customer demand for hybrids that our pricing strategy has paid off.”