More Details Available on the CNG Toyota Camry at the LA Auto Show ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: More Details Available on the CNG Toyota Camry at the LA Auto Show

Thursday, November 20, 2008

More Details Available on the CNG Toyota Camry at the LA Auto Show

Toyota is bringing the compressed natural gas (CNG) Camry Hybrid Concept vehicle to the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show. The Toyota hybrid engine is powered by electricity (battery) and natural gas, rather than the normal gasoline electric hybrid Camry.

According to Toyota, natural gas is a clean and safe alternative transport fuel. It can potentially reduce U.S. dependency on foreign oil and reduce vehicle operating costs. Currently more than 99 percent of natural gas used in the U.S. comes from domestic & 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.

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.

The 'fuel tanks' for the CNG Hybrid Camry are two tanks installed in the spare tire well area. The tires have been replaced with run-flat tires from Bridgeston (19 x 7.5 alloy wheels and Bridgestone Potenza 225/35ZR19) since there's no spare tire.

The custom front fascia and front bumper cover eliminate the grill opening, while the custom rear bumper covers the tail pipe and visible exhaust system. The ride height has been lowered and new side body skirts and very visible "Compressed Natural Gas Hybrid" graphics adorn the vehicle.

In 1999, Toyota marketed a CNG-powered four-cylinder Camry to fleet customers in Calfornia, but customers were not attracted to the specialized vehicle. Special refueling techniques and limited re-fueling points make for limited interest. There are still less than 1,000 CNHG refueling stations nationwide, with less than half open to the public.

"Toyota believes CNG has huge potential, both in the U.S. and globally," said Hostetter, "but CNG is just one of the many alternative fuels we're exploring in our ongoing advanced technology research and development."

2.4 liter, 4-cylinder engine with Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive(R)
Gasoline fuel system replaced with CNG system

City/Highway/Combined = 32/34/33
(Gasoline Camry Hybrid = 33/34/34)

NET HORSEPOWER (Engine + Electric Motor + Generator + Power Storage)
170 hp

-- Two (2) Lincoln composite Type 4 tanks -- plastic liner with carbon
fiber wrapped exterior
-- Tanks installed in spare tire well area
-- Maximum 3,600 psi

Proposed 8 gallon gasoline equivalent

250+ miles

Overall Length: 191.2
Overall Width: 71.7
Overall Height: 57.5
Wheelbase: 109.3
Wheel Size: 19 x 7.5 alloy wheels

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