Toyota Goes Small, Sleek For Big Fuel Efficiency

Toyota latest minivehicle was launched in Japan recently, boasting top level fuel efficiency for a gasoline-powered car.

The Pixis Epoch is the second passenger minivehicle to be launched by the automaker. Toyota said the car, which will be sold through 200 Toyota dealerships across Japan, manages nearly 19 miles to the liter — around 70 mpg.

pixis

image via Toyota

The car’s fuel efficiency is helped in part by a new system for saving gas. Fitted as standard on all models of the Pixis Epoch, the eco-IDLE system shuts off the engine when the vehicle comes to a stop or else is when it is traveling at approximately 4 mph or less.

Not that this makes the Pixis Epoch a perfect green machine. This is still a gasoline-fueled car after all and its emission rate, though low compared to many other cars in its class, has been calculated at 77 grams of CO2 per kilometer traveled.

The car is well within Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism’s (MLIT) 2015 fuel efficiency standards. Under the MLIT’s approval system for low-emission vehicles, the car has been certified for emissions levels 75 percent lower than the ministry’s 2005 standard.

All this means buyers of the Pixis Epoch can claim a tax reduction since the Japanese government — like the Obama administration — operates a tax incentive program for environment-friendly vehicles.

Toyota has produced a number of environmentally friendly models in recent years, most notably the Prius range of hybrid vehicles. Last year’s tsunami had a serious impact on production, however, and the company was forced to postpone the rollout of a Prius-derivative known as the Prius v.

Paul Willis has been journalist for a decade. Starting out in Northern England, from where he hails, he worked as a reporter on regional papers before graduating to the cut-throat world of London print media. On the way he spent a year as a correspondent in East Africa, writing about election fraud, drought and an Ethiopian version of American Idol. Since moving to America three years ago he has worked as a freelancer, working for CNN.com and major newspapers in Britain, Australia and North America. He writes on subjects as diverse as travel, media ethics and human evolution. He lives in New York where, in spite of the car fumes and the sometimes eccentric driving habits of the yellow cabs, he rides his bike everywhere.