Toyota Canada’s entry to the Rallye Monte-Carlo des Energies Nouvelles earned the title of most fuel-efficient hybrid and finished fifth overall, out of a total of 113 entries.
Over the course of the four day rally, Toyota Canada’s Prius PHV traveled more than 1,500 kilometers (932 miles) through Monaco, France and Italy, climbing and descending mountain elevations of more than 960 meters (3,150 feet), navigating narrow streets in cities and towns and accelerating down highways.
In a rally focused on time accuracy and fuel consumption, vehicles and drivers were challenged to consider driving behavior, fuel use and energy regeneration.
Toyota Canada said that, engineered for real world efficiency, the Prius PHV achieved a consistent average fuel consumption of 3.9L/100 kilometers (60.31 mpg) during the rally.
According to the team, key to the win was the efficient lithium-ion battery which houses 4.4 kilowatt-hour of energy. The Prius PHV’s battery offers three key advantages. The first is its light weight. The battery is big enough to get the job done but still light enough to ensure the battery is not an anchor when empty. The second is managing regeneration during the drive, which allows for energy normally wasted from braking or driving downhill to be recaptured and stored in the battery for later use. Finally, the ability to select EV mode on demand through the simple push of a button.
Together, these advantages allow for more battery engagement and better overall energy efficiency.
“We’re proud that the Prius PHV’s real world fuel efficiency was proven on such an aggressive course,” said Stephen Beatty, Chief Environmental Officer, Toyota Canada, Inc. “We’re also extremely proud of Vinh and Alan for their fifth place finish and their commitment to showcasing what’s possible with a Prius.”
Driver Vinh Pham, Advanced Technology and Powertrain Engineer at Toyota Canada, had competed in the previous edition, the 2012 Rallye Monte Carlo des Energies Nouvelles, placing 21st of 149 competitors. He also won the 2011 and 2012 Rallye Vert de Montreal races.
Navigator Alan Ockwell is a multiple Canadian national champion. Ockwell won his first navigational rally at the age of nine and started co-driving in performance rallies at age 18. Since his debut, he has established himself as one of the top co-drivers in Canada, with two national titles and a dozen event victories.