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Demonstration of plug-in hybrid efficiency

Average reduction of 46% in fuel consumption seen

A unique three year collaboration to demonstrate the effectiveness of plug-in hybrid technology has come to its end with conclusive results.

Launched in Strasbourg in April 2010, the project between Toyota, French energy provider EDF and the city and the Urban Community of Strasbourg, was a large scale demonstration designed to gather real world feedback on the use of Toyota’s plug-in hybrid technology, while encouraging the development of dedicated public charging points.

Results from the project

Covering over four million kilometres in three years, the evidence found the effectiveness of plug-in technology includes:

  • Average 46% reduction in fuel consumption compared to a conventional gasoline vehicle of similar size, with an average use of 1.1 times a day
  • Conclusive proof of a direct correlation between the recharging frequency and fuel consumption: higher charging frequency leads to lower fuel consumption
  • The study reveals up to 70% reduction in fuel consumption compared to a gasoline vehicle of similar size when recharged 1.6 times a day. This leads to a substantial estimated saving of €1,400 annually
More than cars

The performance of the project was supported by a range of practical measures throughout the Toyota and Lexus centre network that were simple and in many cases free of cost to implement. These included adjusting heating and air conditioning systems to reflect the hours buildings were occupied, automatic and remote powering down of computer equipment, and an automatic heating system that switches off after a pre-set time when workshop doors are open.

Thomas Rosselle, Toyota Manager for corporate social responsibility and environmental affairs, said: “Our commitment to environmental responsibility is not confined to building clean and fuel efficient vehicles, it extends to all areas of our business operations, not least our network of Toyota and Lexus centres."

Further findings from the project included:

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  • Establishment of a dedicated charging infrastructure with 145 charging points (9 in parking and 12 in public spaces)
  • 60% of the recharges were carried out at work and 37% at home. Public charging points were welcomed by users for supplementary charging
  • Scheduled charging leads to CO2 emission reductions of 10-15%
  • Average cost of a recharge is around €0.30 (all costs included)

Michel Gardel, Vice-President of Communications, External and Environment Affairs at Toyota Motor Europe, said: “Thanks to the citizens of Strasbourg who participated in the project, Toyota was able to gather such valuable data which we will use to further promote plug-in hybrid technology.

Toyota sees plug-in hybrid technology as the best environmental mobility solution currently available and an important step in the development of the ultimate zero emissions car. We want to make the technology even more accessible for widespread adoption."

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