Thursday, November 20, 2008

Toyota Camry CNG Hybrid

Unveiled at the LA Auto Show, the Toyota Camry CNG Hybrid vehicle is one that is desperately needed. The only other OEM natural gas vehicle currently offered is the Honda Civic GX.

From Green Car Congress:

"The CNG Camry Hybrid concept was designed by the TMS Advanced Product Strategy group and built by Metal Crafters of Fountain Valley, Calif. To convert the stock Camry Hybrid to a CNG vehicle, the gasoline fuel system was replaced with a CNG fuel system including two Lincoln composite Type 4 CNG tanks installed in the spare tire well area.

The CNG Camry Hybrid retains the 2.4-liter, 4-cylinder engine with Hybrid Synergy Drive. The concept delivers net (all power sources) 170 hp (127 kW); the production Camry Hybrid delivers net 187 hp (139 kW).

The CNG Camry Hybrid stores sufficient natural gas at 3,600 psi to support a 250+ mile range, with combined fuel economy of 33 mpg gasoline equivalent. (The gasoline Camry Hybrid has a combined fuel economy rating of 34 mpg.)"

I like this car, a lot. The range is very respectable at 250 miles, although I would think a hybrid system could do better. This vehicle should get 40 to 45 mpg gasoline equivalent. Why isn't it able to match the Prius in fuel economy? I feel that the added expense of the hybrid system is not justified in this case.

Also, I would like to see Toyota offer plug in capability with this vehicle to make it even more green!

No comments: