HYBRID, a nasty word or mobility solution?
It was typical grey ugly autumn 2004. I was in the beginning of my automotive career journey, working in Marketing department, responsible for respective models. I got the task with following prerequisites "We have to launch the first ever hybrid car to CZ and SK market. We need to get quickly the first demo car for journalists.
4.11.2004 I got an opportunity to be part of something unique. I managed one way ticket for flight with Germanwings from Prague to Koln.
With my passion for automotive I got unique chance be among the first in CZ&SK driving the HYBRID. As Germans already introduced a car to the market, we took one from them for our national launch.
I got brief training from German Toyota colleagues and drove a car to Prague. It was 2nd generation of Toyota Prius HSD, but the first launched in central Europe. On the way I played all the time with multimedia screen trying to adapt a driving style according to energy flow visualisation.
When I entered on Friday 5th Czechia I stop almost in all cities on the way from Czech border to Prague. I enjoyed the faces of people following the strange car and listening the silent of city electric drive. I felt like driving a supersport, according to attention I got everywhere. As weekend followed, I spent almost all time inside the car to get 100% knowledge and feeling. And I felt in love. The car was amazing. Yes, for many people ugly and strange, but amazing.
As from those days a HYBRID word was used in CZ & SK media with relation to automotive. But for many people a HYBRID word was something really strange, something even with negative meaning, negative feelings and also with more or less cold acceptance. Prius was not accepted at all. It was strange, ugly and very expensive car without many benefits compared to well perceived and well known diesel engines cars. But I loved to differentiate and later on it became my company car for daily use.
15 years later
Last warm October 2019 days somewhere 100km far away from Ulaanbaatar. We, as company management, hosted our business partners for couple of days in Mongolia. It was a special event, where we took dealers out from Russia, to tell them something about the historical moments link to the business of the presence.
I was working for ŠKODA and all my activities were at those times connected with its brand and I proudly supported and promoted Czech brand in Russia. Nevertheless during those days I returned in my memories to years, when I brought a first Prius to Czechia.
Mongolia is poor country, where people migrate all the time. And I was shocked, what is the most common car there. It was a PRIUS. Prius 2nd, 3rd generation and other old hybrids. Despite they drive on right side, majority of Mongolian carpark were just used cars from Japan with steering wheel on the right side. A Prius cars, having odometer with more than 200k km from Japan were imported and used for another hundreds of thousands in Mongolia. In country, having tarmac only on main roads from and to Ulaanbaatar. That means Priuses were in many cases tuned to offroad conditions locally.
Everybody who has a bit experience with traveling around the globe have to see proven reliability and durability of Toyota cars. From Japan to America, from Australia to Africa, full of already proven several decades old Land Cruisers or Corollas. But the hybrid durability proven in Mongolia ensured me that this technology is in case of Toyota really without any doubts.
What is the conclusion of this article?
Is it just a Toyota advertisement?
Not at all. I just know this brand well. At the same time, whithout doubts Toyota was the brand developing a hybrid technology from a scratch.
The conclusion is about the best and most sustainable mobity solution for upcoming 7 - 10 years.
Diesels? Having perfect fuel consumption, but old ones in city use is really worth to prohibit. Who likes its smell? Diesels are over. Diesel in passenger cars has been killed by VW in September 2015 (but please do not tell it loudly with VW guys presence:-)
Petrols? With more and more strict EU CO2 regulation will be rare to buy and drive petrol cars. I would definitely suggest to buy and own one, but not for daily use and daily driving to city center. For city use it will be most probably over too. Unfortunately without solid argumentation.
Electric? Will be future most probably. Especially for city use in 10 years, when the battery capacity and charging technology is advanced. But are you now ready to be an electric car slave?
Hybrid / Plugin hybrid?
HYBRID is the most clever and most universal mobility solution for upcoming 7-10 years. It is not only about the Prius case. It is about the technology, what is in case of Toyota tested and proven in the most tough conditions everywhere on the globe in last more than 20 years. If we look into the European industry we have well experienced Mercedes, BMW and also Peugeot is not a hybrid cars newcomer. Their initiatives with combination diesel and electric technology has also more than ten years. My suggestion for reliable mobility solution in upcoming years is a proven accessible hybrid car, which will hardly limit you anywhere. As the freedom in Europe starts to be very rare and valuable, unfortunately...
WRC MANUFACTURERS CONFIRM THREE-YEAR HYBRID AGREEMENT
All three current WRC manufacturers (Toyota, Hyundai, Ford) have embraced the sport's exciting new hybrid era by committing to register and participate in the FIA World Rally Championship from 2022 to 2024.