Features & Interviews

Five minutes with… Gareth Matthews, LCV Manager, Toyota UK

01 December 2022 #Features & Interviews

Why the hybrid powertrain for the new Corolla Commercial?

Whilst our fully electric Proace and Proace City medium and small vans are providing a solution for many of our customers, we are aware there are others who seek to lower their fleet emissions. However, given the specific nature of some LCV usage patterns, not all are in the position that they can make fully electric vehicles work for them at this time. The Corolla Commercial petrol-electric full hybrid drivetrain provides these users the opportunity to reduce emissions without having the limitations associated with range, charging capability or vehicle downtime.

To give an example, fire protection specialist SFS Fire Engineering recently replaced its vehicle fleet with six hybrid-electric Toyota Corolla Commercial vans. The new vehicles will be used by their team of engineers who work nationwide installing and maintaining fire protection equipment.

What type of work is the van ideal for? 

There are many applications where a commercial vehicle is preferred or desired without the need for a high payload capability. Many owner operators are also attracted by a car-like vehicle parked outside their home. For larger fleets, the vehicle provides fit for purpose solutions for many applications, whilst also providing drivers with a pleasant, car-like, comfortable workspace that has class-leading levels of safety. Some examples are service engineers, specific blue light applications, facilities vehicles and tradesmen. The 425kg payload of Corolla Commercial is more than able to meet these requirements, along with its tough rubber lined 1.3m3 load space capacity with steel bulkhead. Opening rear doors also facilitate easy access to the load area.

For example, specialist rail and infrastructure services provider Readypower Group is replacing its fleet of diesel vehicles with 45 hybrid electric Toyota Corolla Commercial vans. The new vehicles are being used by the company’s engineers to support clients across the country.

Why is Toyota sticking with the concept of a car-derived van?

Corolla Commercial is the only car-derived van in the market with a petrol electric full hybrid powertrain capable of zero emission driving, combined with efficient fuel consumption and low CO2. As it is built alongside its passenger car range at our UK manufacturing plant in Derby, it also has the same high level of safety features and comfort associated with its passenger car derivatives. Specification highlights include features such as full range adaptive cruise control, pre-collision system and reversing camera, along with heated seats and Touchscreen multimedia.

What has the customer feedback been like so far?

The examples provided show that customers are realising the benefits that Corolla Commercial has to offer. We are pleased that our order bank is steadily growing and we have already secured other large volume orders. In 2023, Corolla Commercial will upgrade its 1.8-litre full hybrid powertrain to greater levels of efficiency, increasing the power with improved driveability and performance.

Gareth Matthews, LCV Manager, Toyota UK

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