Aug. 22, 1997
Toyota Begins Sales of Coaster Hybrid Electric Vehicle
Tokyo―TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION (TMC) announced today the start of sales of the Coaster Hybrid EV, Japan's first series hybrid microbus, through Toyota dealers nationwide (excluding Hokkaido).
The series hybrid system of the Coaster Hybrid EV utilizes a small gasoline engine to constantly generate electricity. This electricity is used either to charge the drive batteries or to operate directly the electric motor that provides the vehicle's motive power. Because the 1.5 liter engine operates at a near constant rate, it achieves optimal emissions and fuel consumption levels.
Compared to the diesel-powered Coaster on which this new version is based, the Coaster Hybrid EV's emissions of nitrous oxides (NOx) and other gasses are considerably lower, not to mention that the black smoke exhaust typical of diesel engines has been entirely removed. CO2 emissions, which are a cause of global warming, have been reduced in proportion with greatly improved file economy. In addition, external noise has been significantly reduced.
Although ideal for city commuting, the Coaster Hybrid EV cannot operate efficiently during highway driving or constant hill climbing. Yet, because of its clean emissions, low fuel consumption, and quiet ride, Toyota expects that there will be a growing demand in urban areas for this environment-friendly, low-pollution microbus.
The gasoline engine operates constantly to generate electricity. When driving at a constant speed or when at a complete stop, the engine charges the battery. But when power demand is high, such as at start-up or when accelerating, it provides electric power directly to the electric motor in order to supplement power coming from the battery.
Even though the engine only has a displacement of 1.5-liters, it can power a motor with a maximum output of 70kW (95PS) and achieves more than sufficient power performance.
The electricity-generating engine operates constantly within an optimal range (between l,000rpm and 3,100rpm) to minimize emissions. Moreover, by using a three-way catalyst, NOx, hydrocarbon (HC), and carbon monoxide (CO) emissions are brought well below regulatory standards and are much lower than those of gasoline- and diesel-engine busses in the same class.
The near constant rate of engine operation also provides optimal conditions for low fuel consumption. Also, through the use of a regenerative braking system―whereby, during deceleration, the braking system converts motive energy into electrical energy to recharge the battery―excellent fuel consumption is achieved during stop-and-go city driving. As a result, CO2 emissions are about 20% lower than those of the base vehicle.
The Coaster Hybrid EV's source of motive power, the electric motor, is inherently quiet. And, as the small electricity-generating gasoline engine operates at a nearly constant rate, overall external noise is similar to that of a passenger car, far lower than that of the diesel-powered base vehicle.
The Coaster Hybrid EV has a range of 400km-500km between fuel stops, much further than a pure electric vehicle. It operates on the same fuel as a vehicle with a conventional gasoline engine and the battery does not require separate recharging.
Main SpecificationsCoaster Hybrid EV
- Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Prices in Tokyo
- ¥14 million
- ¥14.5 million