Jul 18, 2012
Go green, for less – Toyota’s new 3.8l/100 km Yaris hybridBack
Driving|Hartebeespoortdam|Pretoria|Motors|Toyota South Africa Motors|ZAR|USB Port|Hybrid Technology|Motors|Nickel-metal Hydride Battery|Motors|Toyota Auris|Yaris|Bluetooth|Hybrid Synergy Drive System
© Reuse this
On paper this indeed appears true. However, more importantly, practice backs up these claims, especially in terms of fuel efficiency – the ultimate money-in-pocket prove of any hybrid’s worth.
Driving Miss-Daisy-like, admittedly, from Pretoria to Hartebeespoort dam, the Yaris hybrid sipped even less than the claimed average 3.8 l/100 km fuel consumption, the level at which TSAM promises a 88 g/km carbon dioxide emissions rate. In fact, the Yaris produces zero emissions 66% of its commuting time on the road, and never is there a need to plug in the vehicle to recharge the battery. Just fill up and go, as with any normal vehicle.
The downsized full-hybrid system used in the Yaris combines a 1.5 litre petrol engine with a light, compact electric motor, transaxle, inverter and battery pack. The total system weighs in at 201 kg – 20% (42 kg) less than that of the Toyota Auris hybrid.
The Yaris hybrid sees the first downsizing of Toyota’s hybrid technology, which is considered quite a breakthrough by the Japanese manufacturer’s engineers.
One example of component downsizing, leading to a more nimble-footed vehicle, is that the powertrain features a smaller, 144 V nickel-metal hydride battery with a more efficient vehicle electric power management system. The number of cells has been reduced from the 168 of the current, Auris hybrid battery, to 120, composed of 20 modules connected in series. This means a 20% decrease in volume as well as a weight saving of 11 kg, allowing for the new battery to fit snugly under the rear passenger seats, with no intrusion into the cargo load space.
Battery charging efficiency has also been improved, and the pack state-of-charge recovery time has been decreased by 67% compared with that of the Auris hybrid.
Pricing for the B-segment Yaris starts at R223 800, beating its nearest competitor by a few thousand rand – which then makes the claim of cheapest also ring true.
However, as the flagship model in the range, the hybrid remains around R40 000 more expensive than the comparable petrol version of the Yaris. Hybrids are not yet as cheap as standard internal combustion engines, although it can be argued that economies of scale are close at hand, with four-million Toyota hybrids already sold worldwide.
Will the Yaris hybrid then save its owner enough on fuel to justify such a price jump? This is perhaps up to an individual to decide, and can depend on factors such as time spent on the road and whether the driver places a premium on cutting down on his or her carbon footprint.
LOW MAINTENANCE COSTS
The vehicle is available in two trim grades, namely XS and XR.
On the safety front, the 5-star Euro-NCAP-rated Yaris has an antilock braking system with electronic brakeforce distribution, as well as vehicle stability control. In XS guise, the Yaris comes standard with four airbags, while the XR grade features seven.
Standard equipment on both models include automatic climate control with separate controls for the driver and front passenger, remote central locking, touch-screen audio incorporating Bluetooth and an on-board computer, audio jack with USB port, steering wheel controls, height-adjustable driver’s seat, and follow-me-home headlights.
The XR-model also offers a push-start button, an illuminated glove box with cooling function, an eight-speaker sound system, electrically-adjustable rear windows, height-adjustable front passenger seat, cruise control, illuminated vanity mirrors and rain-sensing windscreen wipers.
On both models the Toyota touch-screen system incorporates a hybrid energy monitor which displays the real-time energy flow within the hybrid synergy drive system. Vehicle information displays include remaining fuel range, instant fuel consumption, average fuel consumption a minute over the last 15 minutes, time elapsed since last engine start, as well as a record of past consumption results.
TSAM also promises low maintenance costs on the Yaris hybrid, as the powertrain has been designed with no requirement for the clutch, starter motor, alternator belt and timing belt traditionally used in other vehicles.
And, thanks to the hybrid’s electronically controlled braking system, Toyota says life expectancy on the brake pads can potentially reach 100 000 km. It adds that combining this component longevity with reduced labour times during servicing, means that maintenance costs on the hybrid over 100 000 km are expected to be among the lowest in the B-segment.
The full hybrid battery is designed to last the entire life of the car.
The new Yaris Hybrid benefits from a three-year/100 000 km warranty, extended to eight years/195 000 km on hybrid system components, including the battery.
As with other Yaris models, the vehicle comes with a standard four-year/60 000 km service plan.
Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter© Reuse this Comment Guidelines
Other Automotive News
Recent Research Reports
Automotive 2014: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
The report provides insight into the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local construction demand, geographic diversification, competition within the sector, corporate activity, skills, safety, environmental considerations and the challenges...
Construction 2014: A review of South Africa's construction sector (PDF Report)
Construction data released during 2013 hints at a halt to the decline in the industry during the last few years, with some commentators averring that the industry could be poised for recovery. However, others have urged caution, noting that the prospects for a...
Electricity 2014: A Review of South Africa's Electricity Sector (PDF Report)
This report provides an overview of the state of electricity generation and transmission in South Africa and examines electricity planning, investment in generation capacity, electricity tariffs, the role of independent power producers and demand-focused initiatives,...
Defence 2013: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Defence Report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key players in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the defence sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial...
Road and Rail 2013: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2013 Report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move...
Liquid Fuels 2013 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Liquid Fuels report examines South Africa’s liquid fuels market, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing,...
This Week's Magazine
A structured approach, wherein managers personally engage at each level of the project, is necessary to mitigate delays to the workflow on mega construction projects, says State-owned Eskom Kusile power station projects GM Abram Masango. The 4 800 MW Kusile power...
Construction of transmission lines to evacuate power from a regional hydroelectric project in East Africa, which was hanging on the balance following the withdrawal of financing by key partners, is now back on track. After six months of uncertainty, the African...
Three Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) were signed between South African and Malaysian companies at the Malaysian High Commission in Pretoria on Friday. These MoUs are part of the indirect offsets programme South Africa is providing in return for Malaysia’s...
The South African new vehicle market may well dip to 640 000 units in 2014, says Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) sales and marketing senior VP Calvyn Hamman. This is the first prediction that anticipates a drop in the market. To date economists and industry bodies...
Nissan will re-enter the South African minibus taxi industry in March, when the new NV350 Impendulo goes on sale. The 16-seater has been specifically tailored to meet the terms of government’s Taxi Recapitalisation Programme, which aims to replace South Africa’s...