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Toyota Shows Concept CNG Camry Hybrid at LA Auto Show

The CNG Camry Hybrid. Click to enlarge.

Toyota Motor Sales (TMS) USA showed a compressed natural gas (CNG) Camry Hybrid concept vehicle at the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show. (Earlier post.)

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.)

The vehicle is fitted with 19 x 7.5 alloy wheels and Bridgestone Potenza 225/35ZR19 run-flat tires to accommodate the lack of a spare tire.

In the near future, growing demand for liquid petroleum simply and effectively will exceed supply. Before that occurs, automakers must look to vehicles powered by alternative fuels. We believe CNG will be one of those alternatives.

—Chris Hostetter, group vice president, TMS Advanced Product Strategy

Currently more than 99% of natural gas used in the US comes from domestic and other North American sources. Proven worldwide natural gas reserves are estimated to last until 2100 and have the potential to last until 2200 through improved advanced production methods, according to Toyota.

“Toyota believes CNG has huge potential, both in the US and globally, but CNG is just one of the many alternative fuels we’re exploring in our ongoing advanced technology research and development.”
—Chris Hostetter

Natural gas also produces lower particulate emissions, nitrous oxide (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2) and non-methane organic gases (NMOG), and less CO2 per unit of energy when compared with gasoline. In addition, it has a higher flash point (ignition temperature) than gasoline, can run at a higher compression ratio and is quickly dispersed into the atmosphere, should a leak occur.

In 1999, Toyota marketed a CNG-powered four-cylinder Camry to fleet customers in California. Due to relatively low gasoline costs at that time, customers were not attracted to a vehicle that required special refueling techniques and a limited refueling infrastructure. The program was discontinued a year later. Today there are less than 1,000 CNG refueling stations nationwide, with less than half open to the public.



Very good, here is something simple and efficient, clean, no new development (or almost none) and could potentially have a huge impact, the efficiency could be improved if the engine was designed for CNG. This vehicle is probably one of the cleanest ever (expect electic and H2)

John Baldwin

The new turbo-charged and supercharged 1.4 Passat Ecofuel gives out 119 g/ would be good to know what the CO2 /km would be for this.

Thats on fossil natural gas of course, carbon neutral on biomethane.


If they use carbon fiber tanks under the frame, like
MDI does with its air car, you could even have a
good size trunk (boot, for you Brits)!!

George K

A few nights ago, I heard T. Bone talk about how his initial plan won't work, as he can't get the financing.

He also said, however, that we should start using CNG on the long haul semi's. They are the worst polluters and gas guzzlers, and the infrastructure would be the simplest - start with the interstate truck stops.

Ok, so in the meantime, keep working on PHEV's!


Note the Europeans and Japanese have schmicked on to CNG hybrids well before Detroit. I wonder though if a plug-in CNG hybrid might have to be a station wagon to accommodate a larger battery as well as pressure tanks. Perhaps quick fitting roof racks may be needed for extra luggage capacity. There is the interesting possibility of double home fuelling; both the battery and the NG tank.

However I doubt there will be enough biomethane to fully supplant NG therefore like T. Boone Pickens I think we should prohibit NG from being used in base load electrical generation.


If Obama wants green jobs and better education, why not convert all school buses to NG? The infrastructure would be easy to handle, conversion costs low, but requiring labor, and it would reduce transportation costs for schools so they could finance better education. Do the same for all non NG city buses and you have a serious energy and emissions shift.

Then subsidise all new bus purchases that are hybrids (electric or hydraulic or kinetic) and made with light weight materials like carbon fibre or nirogenic steel (jobs for Detroit?).

Max Reid

I think 3600 psi tank is a older technology and the 5000 psi tank is already available. However applying Hybrid to CNG is a very good concept.

Bi-fuel (gasolene + cng) will be better.

Eric Zinn

According to the european "Well-to-Wheels" study, CNG-electric hybrids are expected (2010+) to become even more efficient that diesel-electric hybrids. That's news worth writing home about.
Picture that using biomethane from manure, which according to the same study reduces CO2-emissions by 180%!

new hybrid cars

A B20- powered 2006 Dodge Sprinter commuter van used by 10 Northfielders who van- pool to downtown St.

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