Toyota and Lexus are proud to be presenting sponsors of the 20th anniversary Environmental Media Awards. This star-studded gala salutes the creative teams behind music, film and television productions that raise public awareness of environmental issues by incorporating environmental messages in their work and “greening” their operations. This year’s nominees include feature films such as The Day the Earth Stood Still and TV programs such as Grey’s Anatomy and The Simpsons.
“The entertainment industry is a powerful vehicle for raising awareness of environmental issues,” said Dian Ogilvie, senior vice president and secretary of Toyota Motor North America. “The Environmental Media Awards honor the creative leaders who educate, influence and inspire environmentally responsible behavior.”
Toyota brings environmentally responsible choices to the streets, by creating vehicles that work in harmony with our environment. Toyota and Lexus combined offer seven gas-electric hybrid models ranging from mid-sized sedans to SUVs. Hybrids are Toyota’s core technology and the environmental benefits are clear and measurable. Early in 2009, global sales of Toyota and Lexus hybrids reached two million units, with over one million sold in the U.S. Total global hybrid sales have led to approximately 11 million fewer tons of CO2 emitted vs. gasoline vehicles of similar size and performance.
Lexus, the leading luxury automotive brand, has four hybrids in its line-up. Lexus made its mark in April 2005 by introducing the world’s first hybrid luxury vehicle, the RX 400h. Since then, Lexus has announced a new hybrid vehicle nearly every year. The RX hybrid luxury utility vehicle is now the RX 450h and is completely new for the 2010 model year. Lexus’ newest hybrid, the HS 250h luxury sedan, has an EPA-estimated combined rating of 35 mpg and is the most fuel-efficient luxury sedan in the U.S. Most recently, the LF-Ch compact hybrid concept vehicle debuted at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September 2009. In all, Lexus has sold more than 90,000 luxury hybrids in the United States.
This year Toyota revealed the 2010 third generation Prius. The hybrid that started it all arrived bigger and better, bringing technological advances like a solar powered ventilation system, smaller more efficient hybrid components and an improved multi-information display. Engineers also provided a roomier interior, a larger engine, and best in class EPA estimated fuel economy of 50 miles per gallon. The 2010 Camry Hybrid and 2010 Highlander Hybrid round out the Toyota hybrid line up, providing customers the versatility they need and the hybrid fuel economy they desire. Toyota is now working hard to reach sales of one million hybrids per year in the early 2010s and provide a hybrid option throughout its passenger vehicle line up in the early 2020s.
And more advanced technology is on the way. In late 2009, 500 Prius Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHV) will roll off the line for a global demonstration program. Lease fleet customers will be testing the durability and reliability of the lithium-ion batteries powering the PHV as well as providing feedback on the plug-in experience. Toyota has also announced that it will bring a small, urban commuter all-electric vehicle to market by 2012 and plans to bring our Fuel Cell Hybrid Electric Vehicle (FCHV) to market by 2015. To achieve these goals, Toyota established a battery research department to develop an innovative next-generation battery that can outperform current lithium-ion battery technology. Toyota is working with a wide range partners to test these technologies and ensure infrastructure needs are met.
In addition to hybrid vehicle leadership, Toyota is the most fuel-efficient full line manufacturer. For the 2010 model year, Toyota has four gasoline engine cars that get more than 30 miles per gallon on highways: Corolla, Camry (four cylinder), Matrix, and Yaris, while Scion offers the xD. With better-than-average fuel economy and high sales volumes, these vehicles contribute to greenhouse gas reductions much like Toyota’s hybrid line up.
Toyota’s commitment to the environment goes beyond its vehicles to touch every aspect of its operations. Operational environmental initiatives include recycling and reducing waste, increasing renewable energy use and sustainable building design. These efforts have led to Energy Star awards from the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. EPA, facilities that send zero or near-zero waste to landfill and multiple LEED® certified buildings and dealerships. Through our strategic partnerships with organizations like World Wildlife Fund, U.S. National Parks and Audubon Society, we aim to protect, preserve and improve our natural environment and inspire future generations to do the same.
Lexus partners with Scholastic for the Lexus Eco Challenge, an educational program and contest that inspires and empowers middle and high school students to learn about the environment and take a stand to improve it (www.scholastic.com/lexus). Through this philanthropy program, more than 8,500 students have completed projects to improve the environment in their communities and the world at large, and have earned more than $2 million in scholarships and grants. Additionally, to help advance the concept of sustainability without sacrifice, Lexus Hybrid Living was created. Through events and a website portal (www.Lexus.com/hybridliving), Lexus showcases a new kind of sustainable lifestyle, providing an array of eco luxury options from like-minded visionaries in design, architecture, cuisine, fashion, health, beauty and travel.
For more information on Toyota and Lexus environmental initiatives, please visit www.toyota.com/about/environment.