WEDNESDAY, FEB. 15: For years we’ve been looking into bringing environmentally friendly hybrid vehicles to Bermuda and, finally, this year it’s going to happen.
We are expecting our first hybrid vehicle, the Toyota Prius C, to make it to our shores in the next two to four months.
The Bermuda Department of Works and Engineering has been test driving a Prius vehicle with excellent results and savings on fuel.
In addition, hybrid technology training already has begun at Bermuda College for students in automotive studies and technicians on the island.
So, we are ready and excited to embrace this green addition to our inventory.
The Prius C is new for Toyota in 2012.
With an estimated 52 miles per gallon, it beats out any non-plug-in hybrid currently available in terms of efficiency.
It is designed for city living, which makes it a great choice for Bermuda’s short-distance, and stop and start driving.
Plus, with the high cost of fuel on the island, having a hybrid vehicle can really make a difference in your monthly budget.
The Prius C uses a 73-horsepower version of the 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine also found in the subcompact Yaris, coupled with the Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive system.
The key to the whole system is something Toyota calls a power split device, in which a series of gears work together to divide (or split) the power that the gasoline engine produces between the generator and the drivetrain.
It connects the gasoline engine with the electric motor and the generator. The Hybrid Synergy Drive system is taking advantage of the strongest characteristics of the gas engine and the electric motor and combining them into one highly efficient drive system.
The Prius C engine is completely beltless, with the air-conditioning compressor and water pump both electrically powered, and Toyota has re-engineered the hybrid system to be 14 per cent lighter, more compact and less expensive to build.
It has also reduced the capacity of the nickel-metal-hydride battery pack in the Prius C compared to the larger Prius models. In fact, it fits under the rear seat along with the 9.5-gallon gas tank rather than below the load deck.
Like other models in the lineup, the Prius C offers an Eco mode, which reduces maximum power output and modifies settings on the car’s climate control to conserve energy.
It also has an “EV” setting that keeps it in all-electric mode as long as possible at low speeds.
In addition to infotainment and engine-performance analytics, the dash features a six-inch screen that displays your driving efficiency in several ways — everything from your Eco score on a scale of 1 to 100, to the cost of your drive based on whatever price of fuel you typed in before you left.
Not only do hybrid vehicles save money in fuel but since they use so much less fuel than conventional vehicles, they emit far less carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere.
It’s the emission of CO2 that is a major contributor to global warming.
Vehicles also emit air pollutants that are hazardous to health and on an island as small as Bermuda, the introduction of hybrid vehicles will be beneficial in cutting down on those unhealthy emissions.
The Toyota Prius has some of the most impressive environmental statistics on the market and as it was the first hybrid car to gain worldwide acclaim, it has become highly sought after, which is why we chose to bring in the newest model.
We look forward to this technology reaching Bermuda as every day people have asked us when it was going to get here.
We know there’s a demand and we are happy that island residents are interested in hybrid technology as a means of helping to do their part in preserving this beautiful island for generations to come.
For more information contact Bermuda Motors at 292-0893. www.bermudamotors.bm.
Krishna King is the after sales parts manager at Bermuda Motors Limited.