The Toyota hybrid may be the new valuable survival tool, considering that as the company’s President Akio Toyoda revealed in a recent press conference, it aided many survivors after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan that left thousands of people homeless and without electricity.
Toyoda told the press that many individuals have written to him stating that the company’s hybrids have helped solved problems related to gasoline shortages and power outages.
For one, the hybrids have a long driving range. In addition, people said that if not for their hybrid cars, they would be one of the many individuals lining up for gasoline.
Fortunately, they do not have to queue because they have hybrids. With regards to power outages, individuals who have the Estima hybrid are able to deal with the blackout. They utilized the electricity stored in the Estima so that they can warm up food and other emergency supplies.
Furthermore, they are also able to charge their mobile phones with the hybrid’s stored electricity. Toyoda stated that the quake is a reminder that hybrid cars have some advantages over the gasoline-powered ones.
He also said that the memories of the March 11 disaster could influence the purchasing preferences especially for the thousand of survivors who are planning to replace their vehicles damaged during the tsunami.
Toyota has been incessant in introducing its full hybrid technology to new market segments by offering hybrid versions of the Auris Hybrid and Yaris Hybrid. However, no hybrid model other than the Prius has been able to better preach the advantages of having a hybrid vehicle in one’s garage. For the latest iteration of the Prius, Toyota has designed the new hybrid vehicle to have a revised exterior and improved interior as well as enhanced instrumentation and an array of new multimedia and advanced navigation systems like Toyota Touch, Toyota Touch & Go Plus and Toyota Touch Pro.
In terms of technological innovation, there is no other model in the segment that has been introducing new features and elements even before they were primarily available. The new Toyota Prius is provided with a Head-up Display that projects vital info – like vehicle speed, the Eco Drive Monitor and the status of the optional Pre-Crash Safety and Active Cruise Control systems -- onto the base of the windscreen.
Moreover, the new Prius comes with a Touch Tracer display switch –mounted on the steering wheel – that conveniently allows drivers to easily control the air-conditioning, the audio system and the ECO Drive Monitor without having to take their eyes off the road and without having to take their hands off the steering wheel. Customers may avail of the optional Pre-Crash Safety system with Adaptive Cruise Control that employs sensors mounted under the front grille to detect possible collisions.
Once a possible collision is detected, the system will trigger a series of intelligent safety features: pre-tensioning the seatbelts and activating an audible Brake Assist alarm. If a collision is unlikely to be avoided, the system will activate automatic braking to reduce potential impact and damage.