Do you feel for our environment and want to help save the planet? If your answer is ‘yes’ then Crown share your concern. We are in a service industry that is a heavy user of fossil fuels. What this means is that we must always be on the look-out for ways of reducing fuel consumption which is the surest way to reduce our emissions. In Toyota we have found the perfect business partner to assist us to achieve our goals.
In 2010 we made a decision to trial the Toyota Prius, one of the most advanced hybrid vehicles on the market. The Prius is very different from a conventional car in that they have both a petrol and electric engine. While the technology is very sophisticated the basic concept is simple. When the vehicle is idling, stopping or starting in the city or at lower speeds the electric motor produces virtually no emissions. At higher speeds the petrol motor takes over and the vehicle performs just like a conventional vehicle.
One of the great benefits of having a Toyota hybrid vehicle is that it charges the batteries while it’s running. There’s a popular misconception that hybrids are reliant on electricity and need to be plugged in at night. Of course if you forget to gas up at the service station you might have an issue but this can happen to anyone. I can assure you there’s no need for a tow truck if your hybrid runs out of petrol. The Prius is also very aerodynamic, being built of lightweight materials and having a compact and eye catching presence on the road, which adds to its attraction.
Our initial order for 8 Toyota Prius Hybrids was put through in August 2010, with all of the vehicles allocated to our residential and commercial sales teams. When you make any change in a business there can be scepticism but in this case the reaction was positive. Our Prius drivers immediately commented on the comfort, quietness and power of their new vehicles, plus the added feature of push button ignition and a sporty interior. The reduction in fuel consumption was even better than we imagined. The majority of these Prius vehicles immediately achieved over 19kms of travel per litre of petrol, an overnight reduction of over 70% in petrol consumption, now that’s performance!
By 2012 we had 18 Toyota Prius Hybrids in our fleet and were achieving a lot more than we envisaged. Our residential sales team discovered that the vehicles were a positive surprise when they visited clients for in home consultations. We were not only talking about Crown’s environmental programmes but also demonstrating our commitment in a very visible way. They discovered that customers shared our passion for environmental issues, were very interested in the vehicles and saw this as a point of difference for Crown. We are now in a position where the original vehicles are being upgraded to newer models and our drivers are being wowed all over again by Toyota’s new design features and added comfort.
As our relationship with Toyota has evolved we are now providing our regional and business development managers with an opportunity to upgrade into New Generation Toyota Camry Hybrids. These really are the equivalent of a luxury car and like their smaller cousin the Camry Hybrid have exceeded our expectations with respect to comfort and fuel efficiency. These vehicles are generally used for longer distances and are logging up some big mileage for daily commutes to and from adjacent branches.
There are so many great benefits to having a hybrid car. In our case we can choose between the more peppy Prius for city driving and the Camry for staff who are driving longer distances and require more room for overnight bags etc. We now have 25 Toyota Hybrids on the road travelling a combined distance of over 800, 000 kms a year. Not only are we achieving our goals with respect to fuel savings, the corresponding reduction in emissions is exceptional and our drivers love their hybrid vehicles.
At Crown we place a lot of emphasis on our core values and are always looking to partner with like minded organisations. Toyota hasn’t just provided a greener option for motorists; they have produced aesthetically pleasing high performance hybrid vehicles that knock the socks off the competition. They are a trusted brand who refuse to stand still and we are delighted to be associated with them.
This article was written by Stephen Lynch, the Quality Support Manager at Crown Relocations. Please don’t hesitate to contact Stephen if you want to discuss the article via email: [email protected]