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Friday, December 11, 2009

First Australian built hybrid car rolls off line

The first Toyota hybrid has rolled off the production line in Melbourne.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Victorian Premier John Brumby joined Toyota bosses at the car giant's Altona plant for the hybrid launch on Friday. The Hybrid Camry contains a petrol engine and electric drive motor and is touted as Australia's most fuel-efficient locally built car.

Toyota expects the hybrid to use 35 per cent less fuel than other locally built six-cylinder vehicles and produce less than 150 grams of greenhouse gases per kilometer. Ten thousand hybrids will be produced for the domestic market each year, with 300 for export to New Zealand.

Mr Rudd said it was a historic day for the Australian motor industry. "This is the beginning of a whole new era in Australian motoring," he told a crowd of hundreds of officials and workers at the launch. "Today Australia joins only four other countries that can produce a Toyota hybrid car."

The launch comes as world leaders thrash out a climate change plan to tackle emissions in Copenhagen. Mr Rudd said the transport sector contributed 14 per cent of Australia's emissions and producing more fuel efficient vehicles was part of the climate change challenge.

"The hybrid Camry is good for motorists, it's good for the economy, it's good for jobs and it's good for action on climate change," he said. "The Toyota hybrid Camry is an important step in Australia's ability to achieve our domestic emissions targets and to reduce the impacts of climate change. "It's an important practical step towards Australia's lower carbon future."

The hybrid received $35 million in funding through the federal government's $1.3 billion Green Car Innovation Fund. The Victorian government has placed an order for 2000 hybrids. The hybrid Camry is set to hit showroom floors in about two months.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A short video of Victorian Premier John Brumby speaking at this event can be found at

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