Toyota Camry – Cng Plus Hybrid Power Equals Wow!


Of all of the hundreds of vehicles on display at the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show, one of the most intriguing to me was the compressed natural gas powered Toyota Camry Hybrid concept. Toyota, which had a press conference for their luxury Lexus brand during the press days which I attended (but not for Toyota or Scion) still managed to display the hybrid Camry, a car not like any other one at the show. But, the concept Camry could one day prove to be a very popular model if certain energy initiatives come to pass. Please read on to learn about the natural gas powered Camry and how this car could revolutionize the way that we drive.

Toyota is a leader when it comes to hybrid technology, producing the gas-electric Prius and other models including the Camry. But, a natural gas-electric hybrid Camry is a new idea, one that hasn’t been considered for production until now.

According to Toyota, compressed natural gas produces lower particulate emissions, nitrous oxide, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and non-methane organic gases and less CO2 per unit of energy when compared to gasoline. It can also run at higher compression ratio and is quickly dispersed into the atmosphere should a leak occur.

Best of all, natural gas is one resource in abundant supply in the US and costs as much as 40% less than gasoline. So, why aren’t natural gas cars being produced?

That’s easy: the infrastructure for natural gas is currently not in place, with fewer than 1000 refueling stations nationwide. Under half of those stations aren’t open to the public, making refueling difficult if not impossible in some areas of the country.

If the federal government commits to expanding our natural gas infrastructure then the chances of the Toyota CNG hybrid going into production improves. This is something the next Administration will want to tackle as natural gas burns cleaner and reduces our dependency on foreign sources of oil, especially oil purchased from countries who are openly hostile to our way of life.

The displayed Camry concept is powered by the standard 2.4L, 4-cylinder engine found in base model Camry’s today. With Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive, the gasoline fuel system is replaced with a compressed natural gas system, the main difference between the two hybrid Camry models.

Producing 170 horsepower, the CNG Camry Hybrid would get nearly identical fuel economy to the gas electric Hybrid, 33 combined fuel economy. Two compressed natural gas fuel tanks are stored in the spare tire well area of the car, safely removing the tanks from view. To make up for a lack of a spare tire, Toyota outfitted the Camry with Bridgestone run flat tires, but I could see a spare tire holder fitted into the trunk lid which would be a smart as well as attractive touch for the CNG hybrid Camry.

Alas, the CNG hybrid Camry will not go into production anytime soon, other than perhaps for regional availability in markets such as Southern California which can support these types of vehicles. With gas prices being so low again, a compressed natural gas car isn’t ideal right now but it could be when gas prices start climbing again next Spring. By then, the Obama Administration may have a new energy policy in place, one that embraces alternative fuel sources including compressed natural gas.

Copyright 2008-2012 — Matthew C. Keegan is the owner of a successful writing and marketing business based in North Carolina, USA. He manages several websites and is a contributing writer for Andy’s Auto Sport, a retailer of quality body kits and other fine aftermarket parts.


Source by Matthew C. Keegan