Friday, April 7, 2017

Toyota Research Institute Exploring New ZEV Technology

Just a few short weeks after the Toyota Research Institute (TRI) rolled out its new Advanced Active Safety Research Vehicle (AASRV), its released another major announcement. The TRI, in conjunction with a number of academic and tech partners, is undertaking a $35 million initiative to improve electric vehicle batteries. That news should be as welcome to Phoenix car shoppers as it is for the Bell Road Toyota staff.

Why is this initiative important? There are a few reasons. Lets start with the vehicles themselves. A ZEV (Zero Emissions Vehicle) like the Toyota Mirai is so called because it produces no CO2 emissions. A PZEV (Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle) like the 2017 Toyota Prius produces no emissions when its run as an electric vehicle, producing CO2 emissions only when the gas engine is engaged. With fuel economy and emissions standards tightening worldwide even as some are moving to loosen them here at home, thinking ahead makes good business sense.

Theres another important reason as well: even though Toyota hybrid cars have only been on the market for about twenty years, the battery technology in them stretches back farther. Even though its been improved and refined, its essentially forty-year-old tech. New materials and designs should allow for lower weight, higher capacity, and longer endurance.

The Toyota Motor Corporation isnt going it alone. In addition to existing TRI partners Stanford and MIT, R&D assistance is coming from SUNY Buffalo, the University of Michigan, the University of Connecticut, and Ilika, a UK-based material science company.

This is yet another reminder that Toyota cars from the new Toyota Mirai to old standbys like the 2017 Toyota Corolladont just change from year to year; they evolve. To see the latest evolution of new Toyota cars, visit Bell Road Toyota at 2020 West Bell Road in Phoenix, AZ.

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