Toyota’s Environmental Report: Generating Eco-Friendly Solutions

Toyota works hard to keep the world in a better state.

Toyota works hard to keep the world in a better state.

Here at Empire Toyota, we’re proud to be associated with an automaker like Toyota that really cares about the environment. Recently, the company announced a new North American Environmental Report, detailing everything green it’s doing and wants to do in the future.

According to Toyota, the company is focusing on carbon output, clean water, recycled materials, increasing biodiversity, and outreach programs. Toyota environmental priorities are reflected in their cars and their factories in several ways:

  • Toyota’s first-ever production fuel cell car, the Toyota Mirai, uses hydrogen as fuel and emits only water vapor. It will be available for sale to customers in California in fall 2015.
  • Toyota’s assembly plant in Cambridge, Ontario, captured, cleaned and recycled over 12 million gallons of water used to rinse vehicles during the painting process.
  • Toyota’s North American facilities reduced, reused, recycled or composted over 95 percent of non-regulated waste during calendar year 2013.

These are just some of the improvements Toyota listed in their report. Another major focus was on the hybrid technology which the company has been developing. To date, 2.4 million Toyota and Lexus hybrids in have been made in North America. They save about 500 million gallons of gasoline annually. All of these are part of Toyota’s larger project to revolutionize the auto industry with the environment in mind.

Toyota Mirai: It’s All in the Name

Toyota's Fuel Cell Concept

Fuel Cell Vehicle Concept at the NAIAS (North American International Auto Show)

Newton told us that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. With gasoline-engine cars, for every controlled explosion of air and gasoline, we got propulsion and exhaust. Unfortunately, this exhaust contains carbon dioxide.

When it comes to the Toyota Mirai – the automaker’s fuel-cell vehicle – the opposite and equal reaction still gets you propulsion and emissions; only the emissions are water vapor. That’s a world of difference from carbon dioxide.

It’s reasonable to assume that this is why Toyota named its first FCV Mirai.  It means “future” in Japanese. This is a future that Toyota has believed in for a long time, seeing that they began development on hydrogen fuel-cells back in 1992.

The Mirai can be refueled in three to five minutes. Toyota sees this as a huge benefit over electric cars, in that customers do not have to learn any new tricks. The fuel-up will feel just like you are fueling up with gasoline.

Also, another huge benefit is that even though natural gas is expended to produce the hydrogen now, it doesn’t always have to be that way. Geo-thermal, wind, water – any power source can be used in the future.

Come out to Empire Toyota and talk to us more about the Toyota Mirai and other great Toyota models!

Refreshed Toyota Prius v Pricing Announced

2015 Toyota Prius V

2015 Toyota Prius v

It’s not often an automaker is able to refresh a beloved model and lower its starting price in comparison to the previous model year, but that’s exactly what has happened for the new Toyota Prius v. The family-sized hybrid wagon was refreshed for the 2015 model year and Toyota recently announced the refreshed Toyota Prius v pricing, showing a slight decrease over the MSRP of last year’s base model.

The base model Prius v Two will be available starting at $26,675, not including an $825 fee for delivery, processing, and handling. The top-tier Prius v Five trim is priced at $30,935.

New for the refreshed model is a redesigned front fascia with a black accent lower grille. In the rear, LED tail lamps provide a modern look. The vehicle maintains its spacious interior, providing room for family and friends and lots of cargo. Entune audio, a backup camera display, and versatile seating come standard.

This year, an all-new Prius v Four trim is also available, wearing a starting price of $29,695.

The refreshed Prius v is slated to arrive here at Empire Toyota in December of this year, just in time for you to finish your Christmas shopping!

Toyota Urges Parents to Exemplify Safe Driving Behavior for Teens

Parents with their children

Toyota supports families in setting good examples for young people.

Parents, how is your driving?  As Toyota’s TeenDrive365 program provides young drivers with important information about good habits while behind the wheel, the automaker also emphasizes the important role that parents play in encouraging safe driving behavior for teens.

According to a research study conducted by Toyota and the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, parents are the number one influencer on teen driving behavior.

Since the launch of TeenDrive365 in November 2013, the program has reached over 10,000 people at various events across the country and more than 1 million via the website. Based on this new research, the program is introducing new resources to challenge not only teens, but their parents as well to commit to practicing safe driving habits.

“As a mother of a teenager, I often remind myself that the things I do behind the wheel go a long way in setting a powerful example,” said Dr. Tina Sayer, teen safe driving expert and principal engineer for the Toyota Collaborative Safety Research Center.

Join with us here at Empire Toyota and the entire Toyota family as we commit to setting a good example for our teen drivers.

New Jersey Donald Duck Pedestrian Puts Drivers to the Test


This story is too bizarre not to share. We don’t know whether we should be angry, or just have a good laugh, after New Jersey officials thought that dressing up as Donald Duck and testing drivers on Halloween was a good idea. For the record: it wasn’t a good idea at all.

A police officer dressed up like a six-foot-six Donald Duck acted erratically on the side of a crosswalk, with the intention of finding out if drivers would stop for him as a part of their Pedestrians in the Crosswalk safety program. The program itself is completely legitimate, and tests random driver’s willingness to stop for pedestrians at designated crosswalks. Dressing up as Donald Duck, however, may not be the best way to put drivers to the test.

Nearly 130 drivers were stopped and ticketed a whopping $230 for failing to yield to a pedestrian. Drivers claimed that the Donald Duck pedestrian was pacing on the side of the road, occasionally waving drivers on, and sometimes stepping into the crosswalk toward the cars. One woman described it as confusing, and even scary. She thought the character was acting ‘crazy,’ and decided not to stop because whoever was dressed up could pose a threat.

“It scared me,” Haigh told CBS New York. “It was a huge duck. If it was a person dressed normally, I think all those people would have stopped.”

Here at Empire Toyota, we recognize the serious problem created by drivers who do not yield to pedestrians. We agree with the local officials that drivers need to be stopping for adults, children, and even ducks – but, we also think acting erratically on the side of the road seems hardly fair.

We want to know: what do you think? Would you have stopped for the Donald Duck pedestrian? Let us know in the comments!

Young Adults Participate in Toyota’s The Hunt


In order to show support for various causes across the country, over 99,000 young adults took part in challenges posed by and Toyota’s The Hunt. We here at Empire Toyota were happy to see so many young people be so involved.

Toyota offered two $10,000 scholarships and a concert experience to some lucky participants. Toyota’s The Hunt challenged young adults to participate in seven different challenges for seven different causes related to the environment, education, physical health, and mental health.

“Toyota believes that when good ideas are shared, great things happen. We are proud to have been a part of the Hunt and inspired to see the ripple effect of social good in communities across the country,” said Latondra Newton, a chief corporate officer for Toyota US.

Christopher Norvilus, 20, and Lauren Fitzgibbon, 20, were the two lucky winners from among the 99,000 participants. They were awarded $10,000 scholarships to help them pay for their tuition, as they are currently undergraduate students at Wisconsin Lutheran College and UCLA, respectively. With such a large turnout, Toyota is sure to launch a similar event sometime in the near future.

Toyota’s Hello Texas Event

2015 Toyota Tundra


October 27th was a day of good food, live music, and community thanks to the Toyota Hello Texas event, which celebrated Toyota’s decision to choose Texas as its new North American headquarters.

It kicked off with Toyota executives addressing 400 VIP guests at the Dallas/Plano Marriott at Legacy Town Center, where everyone was thanked for their crucial role in helping Toyota plant its roots in the Lone Star State and establish new headquarters.

Toyota also announced two donations: a $1 million contribution to the Plano ISD Academy High School, an educational facility that focuses on science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics; and six new Texas-built Tundra pickup trucks to the City of Plano.

“We are thankful for Toyota’s generosity and truly appreciate the unexpected donation,” said Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere “We will put these Tundras to great use immediately and are proud that they are built at Toyota’s manufacturing facility in San Antonio by the more than 6,000 hardworking Texas men and women employed there.”

At Empire Toyota, things will remain relatively the same. No matter where the automaker’s headquarters are located, you can expect the same quality vehicles to keep on coming!

2015 Toyota Yaris Earns Praise as Best Subcompact Car

2015 Toyota Yaris

As customer priorities change, a larger emphasis is being placed on things like fuel economy and green technology in the new car marketplace. As a result, the small car segments are more popular—and therefore more competitive—than ever before. While other brands scramble to catch up to this trend, Toyota is relaxing out in front, sporting a stable of small cars that include the Prius, Yaris, and more.

The 2015 Toyota Yaris, in particular, reflects the brand’s leisurely lead over its competitors. The Yaris is a comfortably small subcompact with big fuel numbers and more power than you’d expect. It’s a vehicle that’s completely at home with its own identity, and that’s why it’s earning rave reviews as the best subcompact car on the market right now.

See, while other brands are just trying to find a winning formula for small cars, Toyota is already perfecting its formula. The 2015 version has a 6.1-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth capability, over 85 cubic feet of passenger space, a peppy exterior look, excellent safety features and ratings, and more. Plus, with a starting price of less than $17,000, and fuel ratings of 37 mpg highway and 30 mpg city, it’s simply a great car for people or families of any size or situation.

Come see us at Empire Toyota to check out Toyota’s winning lineup of small cars today, including the Yaris, the world’s best subcompact car.

Toyota Introduces 2015 Camry Racecar


Toyota is known for a multitude of things. In the racing world, this happens to be the Japanese carmaker’s Camry racecar. To keep up with the competition next season, Toyota has finally revealed the 2015 Camry racecar and it’s sure to make a lasting impression both on the track and off.

“We’re thrilled to finally be able to show off our new 2015 Camry race car – becoming the first manufacturer to update the ‘Gen-6’ model that was introduced before the start of the 2013 season,” said Ed Laukes, TMS vice president of marketing, performance and guest experience.  “We anticipate that fans will appreciate the development behind this bold Camry design—both on the race track and the showroom floor.  Fans will have the chance to get an up close look at our new 2015 Camry in our NASCAR activation and fan engagement activities.”

The new 2015 Camry racecar will showcase a more aggressive front end and grille area, while a change to the quarter windows has created an overall sleeker look. The vehicle will officially debut in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series during February’s “Speedweeks” at Daytona International Speedway.

For your own Camry racecar (or at least, a Camry you can pretend is a racecar) stop into Empire Toyota today!

Toyota and National Public Lands Day


At Empire Toyota, we’re always happy to see people come together and work toward a common goal. As part of National Public Lands Day (NPLD), more than 175,000 volunteers in all 50 states generously donated their time and effort to improving public lands.

More than 100 of these volunteers were from Toyota Alabama. They turned their attention to John Hunt Park and planted trees, cleared trails, built fences, and more – all to help the park achieve its goal of becoming a focal point in Huntsville.

The long-term goal is to include tree-lined walking, jogging and biking paths, a splash park and children’s playground, picnic areas, green space, additional tennis courts, and more. In addition to the volunteer help, Toyota contributed $10,000 in order to make it happen.

“Giving back to the communities where our team members work and live is extremely important to Toyota,” said Jim Bolte, president of Toyota Alabama. “NPLD is a great opportunity for our team members to support an environmentally focused activity, which is also a priority for Toyota.”