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Toyota Prius excels in zero emissions commuting study

Research commissioned from the University of Rome reveals how Prius operates with zero emissions for most of the time and distance covered on a typical city commute

Thorough study involved 20 drivers of different ages and levels of hybrid driving experience making the same 37km journey across Rome and back, at different times of day

  • Results reveal an average 73.2 per cent of the journey time and 62.5 per cent of the distance covered were accomplished with zero emissions, with values even higher for the urban sections of the route
  • Almost 45 per cent of the energy required was generated by Prius’ electric motor, with one third of the drive power produced by the regenerative braking system
  • Study further supports real world benefits of hybrid with 140% increase in Toyota Ireland hybrid sales in 2016 accounting for 13% of total sales

The new, fourth generation Prius has delivered exceptional results in an academic test of its ability to run on electric power and with zero exhaust emissions on busy commuter journeys. The results of research by a team from the University of Rome confirm how Toyota has successfully taken the efficiency of its most famous hybrid to new heights.

Data gathered from more than 2,200km of driving on a typical Rome commuting journey reveal that the test Prius cars spent an average 73.2 per cent of the journey time (62.5 per cent of the journey distance) producing no tailpipe emissions. These figures included periods when the car was stationary, with the engine automatically switched off.

The results were even better in urban areas, where noise, pollution and air quality are of special concern. On these sections of the route, Prius achieved zero emissions for 79.4 per cent of the journey time and 76.3 per cent of the route distance.

This level of performance was possible thanks to the quality of Toyota’s latest Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain. Almost 45 per cent of the car’s drive power was sourced from the electric motor, with 34.3 per cent of its energy to the wheels produced by the regenerative braking system.

Thus, more than one third of the power used to drive the wheels of the test cars was produced simply by the act of braking or slowing down.

The study project, commissioned by Toyota Motor Italy, used a team of 20 drivers, evenly divided between men and women in age groups up to and over 35. There was an equal balance between those who had driven a hybrid car before, and those with no experience.

Each participant drove the same 37km route across Rome and back, at three different times of day – morning, afternoon and evening – using a standard Prius Style model on 17-inch wheels. For each journey the Eco drive mode was selected and the air conditioning was switched off; speed limits were observed at all times.

Thanks to Toyota’s leadership in developing hybrid technology, the new Prius has achieved the greatest leap yet in emissions and fuel economy performance between successive generations of the world’s best-selling hybrid. Prius’ achievements go beyond increasingly impressive efficiency, however; 18 years on from the launch of the original model, today’s Prius is designed and engineered to deliver an all-round feel-good driving experience that is intuitive, quiet and responsive.

With advanced styling and genuinely rewarding handling, supported by the first use of the new Toyota New Global Architecture-based platform, it redefines what a 21st century hybrid vehicle can offer, supported by a formidable record of lasting, reliable quality and more than nine million worldwide sales.

Michael Gaynor, Marketing Director, Toyota Ireland commented:

"These results further highlight the benefits of Toyota's hybrid petrol powertrain that delivers up to 94mpg on the new Prius and will also be available in the new C-HR SUV, which launches this November. It also shows how Hybrid petrol, which you don't have to plug in, can deliver over 70% of the journey in pure electric mode. A huge benefit to Irish motorists who may want to drive a pure electric vehicle but don't want the inconvenience of range anxiety or having to recharge their car"

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