The Philippines is one of the most traffic-congested countries in South East Asia, and we Filipinos know this for a fact. Ever since the 90’s, car manufacturers have been looking for ways to reduce our carbon footprint. Now, more than ever, with a reported 11 million registered motor vehicles as of the end of 2018, a shift towards cleaner mobility and transportation has become of paramount importance.
Toyota sees this as an opportunity and has made leaps in the efforts towards sustainable energy around the world, and the Philippines as well. Toyota is one of the many companies who started such efforts in the late 90’s – their answer was hybrid technology. Moving past the engineering and technical difficulties that prevented the mass-production of such power plants, they launched the Prius in both Japan and the United States in 1997. The Prius then became the first-ever hybrid electric vehicle available to the masses.
Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) has since continued this drive towards sustainability. 2009 saw the introduction of the second generation Prius in the Philippines. This then pioneered and ushered hybrid electrification into the country. In 2012, the Prius C was brought in as well.
This is not to say that other manufacturers have not joined the clean and green fray, though. Not to be outdone, Korean marques wanted in on the environment-friendly drive. Just recently, we saw the official release of the Hyundai Ioniq Electric in the country during last month’s Manila International Auto Show. Both the Ioniq Hybrid and Electric are currently Hyundai’s flag-bearer for clean transportation, but at the rate things are going, we can expect new cars with newer technologies to come from the Korean giant.
On the Japanese side, Honda has also been building and exploring the use of hybrid power plants in their vehicles, and the Philippines saw this in the (unfortunately short-lived) CR-Z. To-date, they still have hybrid “project” cars; even the Accord may soon have an electric and/or hybrid heart under its hood should it arrive here in the Philippines.
Let us also not forget about Nissan, of course. As far as the zero emissions push goes, they also have what they call Nissan Futures where key figures on government and the auto industry come together to talk about the potential and the importance of sustainable motoring. Their answer to the (factually) growing interest (and need) for electric vehicles: the Leaf.
There really is no lack in trying as far as car manufacturers go. A number of green automobiles have come and gone, but why is it that we just don’t see enough of them on the roads? In an effort to continue to raise awareness and education on the hybrid electric vehicle (HEV), TMP is aiming for a wider adoption of the technology, which can be utilized in various and numerous sectors and industries.
“As the younger generation becomes more environment-conscious, we feel like it is the perfect time to educate them about eco-friendly technologies readily available to us,” said TMP Vice President Ms. Elijah Marcial. Various Toyota efforts using the Prius help people understand the long-term and cumulative benefits of using hybrid electric technology.
“Hybrid electric vehicles will be our initial step for a more sustainable future. Given the local landscape, HEVs are undeniably the smart and practical way to usher change in the auto industry,” added TMP First Vice President Ms. Cristina Arevalo.
Hybrid technology is something that Toyota believes as the ideal gateway towards electrification. It is in this light that they continue pressing for an awareness-into-action initiative. On May 29, 2019, the Toyota HEV Conference is scheduled to take place. Bringing in technical experts, key government officials, members of the Press, the academe, and several NGOs, it will be very interesting to see how the government can work hand-in-hand with Toyota to live the theme of “toward sustainable mobility”.