Top 3 Electric / Hybrid picks for the 2014 Vancouver International Auto Show

The Vancouver International Auto show has returned to town! In keeping with the Eco theme that is so on trend this days, there are quite a few electric and hybrid vehicles on this year’s show floor. Here are my top 3 electric and hybrid car picks of the show.

Toyota Camry Hybrid Special Edition

While it may seem like an unlikely top choice, the Camry hybrid is truly what brought affordable hybrid technology to the masses in an unassuming package that didn’t scream “eco” as loudly as a Prius.

The Toyota Camry Hybrid SE Special Edition, unveiled at the 2014 Vancouver auto show, combines the advanced power and fuel efficiency of the Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive with the popular Camry SE grade’s desirable appearance features.

“Special Editions showcase design and sportiness, and those attending this month’s Vancouver International Auto Show will be among the first in Canada to see the very new, very special edition first hand,” said Larry Hutchinson, Vice President at Toyota Canada. “But like all Special Editions, these unique versions…will be available in limited quantities – so speak with a Toyota Dealer to get the best selection”.

With an MSRP of $29,540, the Camry Hybrid SE Special Edition is immediately recognizable by its full skirt package, rear spoiler, sport-style grille, and other exterior details.

Inside, the cabin receives unique front sport seats and special sport fabric, a power adjustable driver’s seat, a leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, aluminium scuff plates, and more.
For more information on the Camry Hybrid – including the Camry Hybrid SE Special Edition– visit:

BMW i8

One of the most anticipated cars at this year’s autoshow, the i8, a plug-in hybrid 2 + 2 sports car, is supposed to compete with other performance cars in its general price range.

The i8 is a significant vehicle because it is the first plug-in hybrid from BMW Canada and “the world’s most progressive sports car,” as they’ve put it.

With a passenger cell made from carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic that is 50% lighter than steel and 30% lighter than aluminium, the i8 weighs in at a relatively low overall weight of 3285 pounds.

Powered by a 1.5-litre 3-cyliner gasoline engine, and electric motor and a lithium-ion battery, this is the first BMW hybrid in which different sets of drive wheels are operated by different motors. The gas engine sends power to the rear wheels via a 6-speed auto transmission whereas the electric motor sends power through the front wheels via a 2-stage auto transmission. Combined system output is an impressive 362 hp and 420 ft-lbs of torque.

0-100km/hr sprints are expect to take just 4.4 seconds, and the vehicle has a range of up to 35 kms and a top speed of 120 km/hr on electric power alone.

If you’re a high-tech early adopters/pioneers, or just someone who can afford the latest and greatest , you are likely the perfect customers for this vehicle.

BMW i3

It may not look exactly like a traditional BMW, but for city folks interested in an electric vehicle, the new-age BMW i3 should make a compelling choice.

Conceived from the outset as a dedicated EV, it has seating for four people and a surprising amount of space for both passengers and cargo. The i3 is also sure to turn heads wherever you go.

This rear-wheel drive electric vehicle has a passenger cell made up of carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic, similar to the i8.

A 168hp electric motor producing 184 ft-lbs of torque sits crossways between the rear wheels along with its 22kWh lithium-ion battery pack. This layout gives the i3 the added bonus of perfect 50/50 weight distribution similar to other BMWs.

BMW claims that the i3 will reach 100 km/hr in 7.2 seconds and should run on EV power alone for 128 to 161 kms of range.

An optional “range extender” 650cc gasoline engine, which acts as a generator, can add up to another 144 kms to the above EV-only range.

If you’re a fan of electric vehicles (or even if you aren’t), the i3 is truly unique and interesting machine that will give you a glimpse into how a growing number of cars will be built in the future.

The Vancouver International Auto show is at the Vancouver Convention Centre West and is now open daily to the public till Sunday March 30th at 4pm.

Worldwide Prius Sales Top 3-Million Mark

Over 790 Billion Yen (1) to be Spent on R&D for Ever-better Cars.

Toyota City, Japan, (July 3, 2013) Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announces that as of the end of June, worldwide cumulative sales of the iconic Prius gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle passed the 3-million mark(2).
In 1997, TMC launched the Prius, which was the world’s first mass-produced hybrid passenger car. The second generation followed in 2003, and the third generation in 2009. From the first to third generation, TMC greatly reduced the cost of the hybrid system by two-thirds while improving the EPA-estimated ratings for combined driving by nearly 22 per cent(3). In addition, TMC applied for 1,261 patents relating to the third-generation Prius, achieving progress worthy of the Prius name (derived from a Latin word meaning “to go before”).
Since the development of the first-generation Prius, TMC has positioned hybrid technology as a core technology required for the development of various types of environment-friendly vehicles and has placed emphasis on the development and production of core components such as motors, inverters, batteries and electronic control units (ECUs), giving rise to substantial investment in Japan.
TMC will continue to conduct R&D and invest in facilities in Japan for the development of hybrid and other cutting-edge technologies and achieve sustainable growth by deploying these Japan-developed technologies across the globe.
In the fiscal year ending March 2014, TMC expects to spend a consolidated 890 billion yen(4) (790 billion yen(5) unconsolidated) on environmental technology development, as well as on strengthening new platform and major component development.
In the same period, TMC also plans to make consolidated capital expenditure investments of 910 billion yen (up seven per cent year-on-year), with 440 billion yen invested in Japan (up nine per cent year-on-year).
Investments in R&D infrastructure include a new R&D facility (651 hectares) and the Powertrain Development and Production Engineering Building (a 12-story structure with a total floor area of 100,000 m²) in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture, that will serve as a next-generation powertrain development base, as well as the Aerodynamics Laboratory (capable of producing winds of 250 km/h) located in the Honsha Technical Center.
Future capital investments by consolidated subsidiaries include an investment by Primearth EV Energy Co., Ltd. (PEVE) for expanding battery production capacity at its Omori Plant in Kosai City, Shizuoka Prefecture.
(1) Unconsolidated basis
(2) Based on TMC data
(3) Based on combined driving ratings on
(4) Up 10 per cent year-on-year
(5) Up 11 per cent year-on-year

Toyota Launches Production Of All-New 2014 Corolla & Redesigned 2014 Tundra

Plants in Mississippi and Canada begin building 11th generation of Corolla; redesigned 3rd generation Tundra pick-up built exclusively in San Antonio, Texas
Toronto, ON., (August 2, 2013) ? Consumers have a lot to look forward to this fall as production of the all-new 2014 Corolla has begun at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Mississippi, Inc. (TMMMS) and Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada, Inc. (TMMC). The start of production for the redesigned 2014 Tundra also began this week at Toyota’s Texas plant.
With nearly 40 million units sold, the Toyota Corolla is the best-selling car nameplate in the world, and this year marks its 47th year on the market. The 2014 Corolla will be available for sale in September.
The Mississippi plant initially began production of Corolla in November 2011 further advancing the company’s efforts to design, develop and build vehicles where they are sold. TMMMS has the annual capacity to produce 160,000 vehicles and employs nearly 2,000.
Building the Corolla is truly an effort by Toyota team members all across North America. Corolla engines are built in Buffalo, W. Va., engine plant. Cylinder heads and blocks for those engines are produced at both of Toyota’s Bodine Aluminum castings plants, located in Troy, Mo., and Jackson, Tenn.
The Mississippi plant will mark the start of production with a Team Mississippi Appreciation Day for team members, supplier team members and their families on September 7 at the BancorpSouth Arena in Tupelo, Miss.
Toyota’s Cambridge, Ontario plant has produced Corolla for 25 years – since 1988. TMMC also builds Lexus RX350, RAV4, RAV4 EV, and produces Matrix for the Canadian market. Annual capacity for the plant is 470,000 vehicles and it employs approximately 7,000.
2014 Tundra production underway
The start of production for the 2014 Tundra was celebrated this week by team members at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas, Inc. (TMMTX).
The 2014 Tundra was redesigned, inside and out, representing the first major change since the launch of the current generation for the 2007 model year. The Tundra was completely engineered by Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Mich., and designed by Calty Design Research centers in Newport Beach, Calif., and Ann Arbor. The Toyota Tundra is built exclusively in San Antonio, Texas with 75 percent North American content. The 2014 Tundra will be available for sale in September.
Tundra production at Toyota’s Texas plant initially began in November 2006. The plant also builds the Tacoma and has the annual capacity to produce 200,000 trucks. More than 2,800 team members are employed at TMMTX.
Toyota’s Huntsville, Ala., engine plant is supplying all engines for Tundra production. Cylinder heads and blocks for those engines are produced at both of Toyota’s Bodine Aluminum castings plants, located in Troy, Mo., and Jackson, Tenn.
This September, the Texas plant will mark its 1 millionth vehicle built and then in October, will celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the plant’s groundbreaking.
Toyota has announced 10 North American production increases in the past 20 months including manufacturing plants in Princeton, Indiana; Huntsville, Ala.; Buffalo,
W. Va.; Georgetown, Ky., and Ontario, Canada. Cumulative investment total is approximately $2 billion, adding more than 4,000 jobs.

Toyota Tops Annual Ranking of Best Global Green Brands Again

TORONTO, ON [Jun 13, 2013] For the second consecutive year, Toyota is No. 1 on the annual ranking of the 50 global brands with the most environmental appeal. The 2013 Best Green Global Brands ranking combines Interbrand’s measuring of the public’s environmental perception of 100 global brands and Deloitte’s analysis of those companies’ actual environmental performance.

“Toyota’s outstanding performance on all levels proves that sustainability isn’t just about winning hearts and moving product ? it’s a winning way of doing business,” said a statement accompanying the rankings.

To read more of this statement, click on the link below and then click on the “plus” sign in Toyota’s row in the rankings.

To learn more about Toyota’s environmental efforts, please visit the following sites:

Toyota Corolla: Celebrating 25 years of made-in-Canada success

Eleventh generation of iconic vehicle to roll off TMMC’s Cambridge assembly line

TORONTO, ON., (June 7, 2013) ? In 1988, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada (TMMC) opened a manufacturing plant in Cambridge and produced its first car a four-door Corolla sedan.
Twenty-five years and more than three million manufactured Corollas later, TMMC remains as busy as ever producing the world’s number-one selling vehicle of all time, with more than 1.3 million Corollas sold in Canada.
This great Canadian success story continues with the start of production on the eleventh generation of the Corolla, and sales of this new 2014 model at Toyota dealerships from coast to coast.
“The Corolla has been redesigned and reengineered, with a striking new design, a high-quality finish inside and out, new technology that’s almost unheard of in the compact sedan segment, and dynamic driving performance,” said Seiji Ichii, President and CEO, Toyota Canada Inc. “But one thing has not changed this vehicle will carry on the Corolla’s longstanding tradition of unsurpassed quality, durability, reliability and lasting value. Of all the Corollas we have sold in Canada over the past 20 years, more than 80 per cent of them are still on the road today.”
The Corolla has been at the heart of TMMC’s operation year after year since 1988. To date, TMMC has produced more than five million vehicles. The milestones of the two millionth (2004), three millionth (2007), and four millionth (2010) vehicles assembled at TMMC were all Corollas.
“Twenty-five years ago, TMMC started in Cambridge with about 1,000 people. Today we are a proud company of more than 7,000, but we still think of ourselves as a small community of passionate and dedicated team members who take great pride in the exceptional vehicles we manufacture,” said Brian Krinock, President, TMMC. “With the new Corolla, we will continue to assemble this vehicle to ensure it delivers Corolla’s reputation for quality and value.”
About TMMC
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc. has been building quality vehicles in Canada for more than 25 years.  TMMC produces the Toyota Corolla, Matrix, RAV4 and RAV4 EV vehicles and the Lexus RX model in assembly plants located in Cambridge, ON and Woodstock, ON.  The TMMC Lexus plant has received top J.D. Power and Associates plant quality awards for three consecutive years. For more information about Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada, visit