The Prius Hybrid Flexible-Fuel Vehicle (FFV) prototype, capable of running on both conventional petrol and plant-based fuels such as ethanol, has been developed by Toyota with the support of the São Paulo state government. It is designed to highlight a way to reduce CO2 emissions in Brazil.
By using E100 ethanol, which is 100% renewable, alongside the standard Prius hybrid powertrain, Toyota claims the FFV is significantly more environmentally friendly than a regular petrol-electric hybrid powertrain. Brazil is the world’s second-largest producer of ethanol, which is created using reproduced biomass from fermenting sugar cane.
While the FFV is a prototype – it's part of a project to commercialise the technology in Brazil – Toyota will collect data through real-road testing to gauge the system’s reliability, durability and powertrain performance.
The prototype is part of Toyota’s wider efforts to reduce vehicle CO2 emissions by 90% by 2050 compared with 2010 levels.
E10 petrol, a mix of 90% petrol and 10% ethanol, is widely used in the US and runs in standard vehicle engines.
Toyota is also building a hydrogen generation station at Port of Long Beach, California, that uses biomaterial to generate water, electricity and hydrogen.