's first mass-produced hybrid vehicle
. According to the website
, it is also the world
's first mass produced HEV
There are already 30,000 on the road in Japan, and as of June 2000, it is now available in the United States. Starting at only $20,450, it is a lot better deal than General Motors' old EV-1, which was something like $40,000 for a 3 year lease.
- 1.5 liter, 16 valve, 4-cylinder engine with something Toyota calls 'Variable Valve Timing with intelligence'
- 58 hp max engine output at 4000 rpm.
- 30 kW (40 hp) max electric motor output at 940-2000 rpm (probably used for the extra power needed to get some worthwile acceleration, so at low speeds, the effective hp is probably about 80-90).
- Battery: sealed Nickel-Metal Hydride
- Maximum speed: 100 mph.
- Maximum range: 600 miles. (ha! My Volkswagen Jetta TDI (supposedly) gets more than that!)
- Regenerative braking: When you hit the brakes, some of the car's kinetic energy is diverted into charging the battery via the ABS system.
- And the weirdest thing I noticed: City mpg in the low 50s, Highway mpg in the low 40s! I'm lost on this one, but my wild guess is that it's related to the higher occurences of regenerative braking that occurs in the city.
are looking at this car as a possible replacement
for their old 1990 Dodge Colt
. If they get it, they're going to have to sign up for it, since only 1000 are being sold in the US every month.