Image: Toyota Australia
Friday last week saw the first mass produced hybrid vehicle built in Australia hit the road. It was a Toyota Camry. The plan is for Toyota's plant in Melbourne, Victoria to churn out about 10,000 hybrids for the local Australian market (several hundred will also be exported to New Zealand), going on sale to the public in February 2010.
The Hybrid Camry's claim to fame is that its combination petrol/electric engine will 35% less fuel than the more common locally built six-cylinder cars. Toyota is suggested fuel savings for city drivers of about 1,100 litres per year or about $1,320 a year better off. The Hybrid Camry was also emit less than 150 grams per kilometre of carbon dioxide. (That's about 5.3 oz per 0.6 mile)The standard four cylinder petrol Camry is already the top ten best selling car in Australia, so maybe they'll find a market for those 10,000 vehicles, allow it is expected that the Hybrid Camry will be around $4,000 AUD more expensive than its petrol brother. The Motor Report are thinking it will probably retail around about $35,000 AUD.
Australia is only the fourth location to be producing Hybrid Camrys for Toyota. The other three being Japan, United States and Thailand. To get Toyota to assemble the Hybrid Camry down under, Australian governments sweetened the honey pot with $50 million AUD in grant funding. Roughly two thirds of which came from the Federal government and remainder from the Victorian state government.
The Victorian state government is putting it's money where its mouth is and suggesting it will buy 2,000 of the Hybrids for it's own fleet. The Motor Report have Peter Evans, Corporate Manager of Product Planning for Toyota saying that fleet owners will be able to multiply the fuel savings, mentioned above, "by two, 10, and even hundreds for fleet owners - and many of their drivers will save even more by covering far greater distances." Mr Evans is confident the Hybrid Camry's fuel efficiency will be equal to that of cars with only half the power of the Hybrid Camry.
::Toyota Camry Hybrid Australia, with more information from Victorian Premier's department and Toyota Australia News
More Toyota Camry Hybrid
• Australia Gives Toyota $35 million to Build Hybrid Camry
• Toyota Prius and Camry Hybrid Selling like Hotcakes
•LA Auto Show: Toyota Camry Hybrid is Green Car of the Year
• 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid Official World Premiere