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January 18, 2022

Toyota Corolla Altis Hybrid: Paving For A Sustainable Way Forward

The harrowing effects of climate change in recent decades have led to the increased discussion on sustainability the world over. When we speak of reducing carbon footprint, the spotlight used to be centered upon segregation, recycling, and safe waste disposal technologies. Fast-forward to today — albeit, recent years — and the quest has gone beyond the household. It is admittedly too slow for most people to adapt to sustainable living at a personal level because there are simply too many factors to consider: research, time, resources, and above all, cost; because the means to clean and green living are not always the most economical for middle-income families.

To answer this dilemma is to bring to the table a solution that goes for the source, which brings us to the emergence of electric and hybrid vehicle technology that has rapidly gained attention and footing in many highly-developed countries and, likewise, in developing regions around the world. At the forefront of this movement is Toyota. Not only has it established the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050, which aims to achieve zero CO2 emission and a net positive environmental impact by the year 2050, it was also one of the first to actively introduce a range of hybrid vehicles to the Philippine market to suit the taste and requirement of different market segments.

One of the first is the Corolla Altis Hybrid. It arrived dressed to impress and in the striking Platinum White Pearl Mica, with playfully subtle blue LED highlights. It is designed with the classic silhouette that is recognizable in all of the brand’s sedan offerings. The exterior front hood sloped from a generous windshield, ending at a well-proportioned grille and badge. While the overall look was elegant and minimal, the 17-inch wheels added a contrasting sporty aura to the vehicle’s personality.

The simplicity and elegance is carried over into the interior. The cabin passes muster, with leather seats for the front and back, an illuminated entry system, and matte black soft touch panels. The controls are familiar and straightforward — nothing fancy or overtly complicated. Passengers can also bet on an extremely comfortable ride, with the seats having just the right cushioning and support, and wider legroom for the back row.

Aesthetics aside, the highlight of the Corolla Altis Hybrid is, of course, Toyota’s Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) technology. Being an HEV meant that the Corolla Altis Hybrid runs on two power sources: a conventional gasoline engine and an electric motor. The beauty of hybrid technology is that the electric motor is self-charging—no need to plug it in to a separate charger to top up. The electric motor recharges using the combustion engine and by way of a Regenerative Brake System. This system means that every time the brakes are applied, it captures this kinetic energy to recharge the battery of the electric motor.

The advantages of Toyota’s HEV technology include reducing CO2 emissions and obtaining higher fuel efficiency. During our time with the Corolla Altis Hybrid, the vehicle tapped out at an impressive 18 km/L of gasoline. A full week is not enough to even make a dent on the 43-liter fuel tank. Plus, the required maintenance, at least up to the battery’s five-year warranty is the same as a regular Toyota making an economical hybrid model to own.

As a beginner to Toyota’s Hybrid system, the driving experience is both new and familiar. New, because at start-up, the vehicle emits no sound. You won’t know it’s already on, except for an indicator on the dashboard that reads, “Ready.” After acclimatizing for that, the seemingly off-beat demeanor turns to something Toyotas are known for: maneuverable, reliable, light.

The Toyota Corolla Altis Hybrid, as with all Toyota Hybrids, is a vehicle that offers excellent environmental performance with no trade offs to Toyota’s decades old reputation of QDR: quality, durability and reliability. It blends the traditional with the high-tech, all for the sake of making a better world.

They say that there are two types of hybrid customers, or even electric vehicle buyers for that matter. There is the early adopter—the one who wants to be the first to swipe his newly minted credit card for bragging rights. Then, there are those who choose an HEV (or, an EV) because they understand the economical and environmental aspect. These are the people who believe that they are doing it for the sake of a sustainable future.

In the end, the purpose for the development of HEV technology is not to follow a trend or start a new fad. The presence of Hybrid Electric Vehicles is a signal that the road to sustainability can begin with the masses, and that it is not limited to luxury vehicles. By being an aggressive, active player in this new field of progress, Toyota paves the way for the Filipino to participate in this movement for change, rooted in its philosophy that mobility—sustainability, at that—should be for all.

Words by Gen Tiu

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