Toyota Hybrid Chosen For Dogs

UK-specialist pet care business Pets at Home has taken delivery of six UK-built Toyota Auris Hybrid hatchbacks to expand its grooming service, The Groom Room, which opened in 2009.

The hybrid Toyotas will be driven by regional district managers, covering around 30,000 miles a year. Most of this will be town and city driving, which was one of the key reasons for choosing a hybrid model.

The Auris’s hybrid system uses a 1.8-litre gasoline engine and a high-output electric motor. The powertrain is engineered so that the gasoline engine is used as little as possible in city driving, the electric motor enabling zero-emissions driving in slow-moving traffic.

A stop-start function also ensures no energy is wasted when the vehicle comes to a halt. Toyota said that thanks to clever packaging of the hybrid battery, the Auris Hybrid has as much space in the trunk as its gasoline and diesel sister models.

Pets at Home was recently ranked number one in the Sunday Times’ Best Companies to Work for 2013 List.

Simon McKee, Pets at Home Fleet Manager, said the company “chose the Auris Hybrid because it’s efficient, environmentally friendly and large enough to fit the various dog grooming equipment in without being imposingly big if the driver isn’t used to larger vehicles.”

The Auris Hybrid is built at Toyota’s UK manufacturing plant in Derbyshire, alongside gasoline and diesel versions of the compact hatchback and the new Auris Touring Sports wagon, due for launch this summer.

This new generation of Auris is said to give us hints on the U.S. next-generation Corolla.