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Report: Toyota To Unveil Flex-Fuel Tundra In North America In 2008

5 November 2006

The Nihon Keizai Shimbun reports that Toyota Motor plans to introduce E85 flexible-fuel vehicles in North America starting with the Tundra pickup truck as early as 2008. Currently, all of Toyota’s gasoline engines can run on fuel that contains 10% ethanol.

Toyota is also considering rolling out a gasoline-electric hybrid version of the Tundra in North America around 2010, according to the report.

Toyota plans to release a Corolla sedan that runs on ethanol in Brazil in early 2007. Toyota will apply the fuel-control technology used in that vehicle to models sold in North America.

Toyota will probably produce the flex-fuel Tundra either at its Indiana plant or a Texas site that is scheduled to open later this month. Output is estimated at several tens of thousands.

GM, Ford and DaimlerChrysler have already pledged to boost output of E85 models to a combined 2 million units in the US by 2010. (Earlier post.)

November 5, 2006 in Ethanol, Hybrids | Permalink | Comments (18) | TrackBack (0)

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The E-85 FF Tundra makes sense only with the corprate fuel mileage benefits, and to steal some of the biofuel thunder from Detroit. If it is exported to Brazil (possible future development), then it makes economic sense. The Brazilian Corolla FF makes more sense.
_The Tundra gas electric hybrid fits with Toyota's push for more hybrids. It will compete with GMC Sierra/Siverado hybrid, which will be toast unless GM revamps it.

I hope the Tundra will be offered with diesel long before FF E85. Even better would be a hybrid diesel option.

My wife will be very pleased with that. I could see her buying a hybrid Tundra and equipping it as a veterinarian truck (large animal).

In fact Lowering operating costs would be very beneficial to any market. Not to mention that the premium paid for the hybrid could be deducted from the business taxes.

thanks

I still think the big 3 need to equip their full sized trucks with 6 speed automatics, "active fuel management"/"displacement on demand" and improved aerodynamics (every little bit helps). Apply things like that across all of the 500,000+ of each model full size truck that each of the big 3 sell per year and it's gonna add up....probably more so than <50k hybrid trucks per year.

Ah asdf gets it, BTW Ford and Chevy sell close to a million pickups each a year. So small increases in MPG = massive amounts of fuel saved. I'd like to see more smaller diesels such as in the Ford F150 level trucks. Right now to get a diesel you have to move up to the heavier F250 Superduty level with a 6.x L Diesel.

Instead, you could restrict pick-up sales to businesses. That would save a great deal more fuel, because only those individuals that have a genuine need for a pick-up would bother registering a company to buy one. Everyone else would just buy cars and rent a truck every once in a while. Or else, buy shares in a timeshare fleet in addition to their car.

Rafael: Unfortunately there's always a way to get arround such restrictions.

I would like to see and end to the moronic practice of buying a pickup and then lowering it so close to the ground that it's actually useless for hauling freight.

FlexFuel is a cynical way of appearing green, yet really just spending very little money to up one's CAFE numbers.

Can anyone find the sales/production levels for the Sierra/Siverado hybrid. It is available retail to the public, but I can not find any sales numbers for 2006.

Rafael - I don't own a business but I need a truck to tow and haul all of my bikes, gear, equipment to numerous motorcycle racing events through out the year. So I just wanted to say thanx for trying to screw me over :)

I love Toyota's. I've had several Toyo pickups. I now drive a VW TDI that gets 50mpg and runs on biodiesel. Best of I'm helping keep our air clean. A hybrid petrol Toyo pickup would be a step in the wrong direction. I'm hoping somebody, anybody will make a 4-6 cylinder biodiesel campermobile sometime soon be it a truck of van. My beat at the moment is on Honda....

Randy

I'm amused that every single article involving a pickup truck prompts someone to post the idea that individuals be prohibited from owning them unless they run a business requiring one. (No offense Rafael, I've seen many others post the same idea here.) I think that people outside the US, and also people in the US who live in coastal urbia and can't imagine living without $4 cups of coffee, simply do not understand how Americans (and many Canadians) use their pickup trucks. It may be hard to appreciate why the rental idea won't work, and I could (and someday may) write an article on it, but there are two major points to bear in mind: (1) much of the work for pickups is dirty and high wear, so a rental fleet would either be junk in a hurry or would be nonviable due to every single renter having to pay damage repair costs; and (2) many uses of pickups come up at odd hours with little notice, when you can't expect the rental place to be open or necessarily have what you need available. Given all the things that are available for rent here (including all manner of moving trucks, which get only one specific kind of use that isn't nearly as damaging and generally aren't needed at odd hours) I think the market has spoken that rentals of work pickup trucks isn't viable.

I think that people outside the US, and also people in the US who live in coastal urbia and can't imagine living without $4 cups of coffee, simply do not understand how Americans (and many Canadians) use their pickup trucks.

And I think a great number of people within the US delude themselves as to how trucks are actually used the vast majority of the time by the vast majority of people, in contrast to all the heartwarming, flag-waving, tough-workin-guy Chevy commercials.

Americans have a tendency to believe they live in an advertisement. Same goes for the "driving the sports car fast on a windy, empty country road with a beautiful woman" silliness.

much of the work for pickups is dirty and high wear

No, much of the work of trucks is driving on a flat, dry road with a single person in the vehicle - towing nothing, hauling nothing.

so a rental fleet would either be junk in a hurry or would be nonviable due to every single renter having to pay damage repair costs

Yet UHaul rents trucks. Home Depot rents trucks. All kinds of places rent trucks. According to your theory, they're all throwing their money away on renting.

I think the market has spoken that rentals of work pickup trucks isn't viable.

Obviously you're not an entrepreneur.

1) Yes, there are some "urban cowboys" who drive trucks and don't need them. Here in Michigan we have a decent number, but the vast majority are in SUVs, not pickups, and many of them are bailing out due to gas prices. People who have a good reason to own a truck are little affected by gas prices.

2) Your assertion that trucks are used for solo commuting is basically just a repeat of #1.

3) Around here the home stores are Home Depot, Lowe's, and Menard's. They are very similar to each other and the latter two do more business (locally) than Home Depot. The local Home Depots each have one (1) rental truck available, which is badly beat up and doesn't seem to be rented very often. Lowe's and Menard's, which are thriving competitors, do not offer any rental trucks in their local stores. If it was a great opportunity I have to think that they would.

I already addressed UHaul and similar moving trucks in my post. It's a specific need. You can't move a house with a pickup anyway, unless you want to make dozens of trips.

As an aside, the vast majority of people I know who own pickups also own one or more smaller, more efficient vehicles that they use for their ordinary commuting. Two of those people are geoscience professors, one of whom rides the bus to work, and both of whom are about as environmentally conscious as you can find. Again, just because there are some "urban cowboys" doesn't mean that individuals never have a use for their own pickups.

Unfortunately, Zach, your anecdotal experience is not mirrored by actual usage statistics.

Biz, can you provide those actual usage statistics?

This has been covered extensively in prior threads.

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