Toshiba America Medical Systems (TAMS), headquartered in Tustin, Calif., plans to replace its entire fleet of sales and services vehicles with hybrid cars during the next three years. The company is a global provider of diagnostic medical imaging systems and comprehensive medical solutions, such as computed tomography (CT), catheterization (Cath) and electrophysiology (EP) labs, X-ray, ultrasound, nuclear medicine, MRI, and information systems.

2010 Global Goal Set to Reduce Emissions by 25%
Toshiba Corporation has set a 2010 global goal of reducing its energy-originated CO2 emissions by 25 percent as well as non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent. The current TAMS fleet consists of 500 leased vehicles, including 240 Dodge Caravans, 170 Chrysler 300s, 64 Toyota Sienna AWDs, and 26 Ford E-350 van conversions.

“The hybrids will take us closer to our goal of reducing emissions in logistics from company cars and freight by 1 percent each year,” said Paul Biggins, director of regulatory affairs and head of the TAMS’ environmental affairs committee. “This is another step toward making Toshiba a more socially and environmentally responsible company.”

TAMS to Implement First Wave of Camry Hybrids by Year’s End
The first wave of hybrids soon to be implemented into TAMS’ fleet will be used by the company’s service and sales managers and account executives.

“We currently have 47 Camry Hybrids on order,” said Jeff Berg, manager, fleet and travel administration for TAMS. “By replacing our fleet with hybrid cars, we expect to reduce CO2 emissions from the vehicles by 25,000 lbs., and also save between $3,000 and $4,000 in fuel during the lifecycle of each vehicle.”

The Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive System carries power between gas and electricity and/or both as needed. The first half of the combined 187-hp unit is a 147-hp 2.4L four-cylinder Atkinson-cycle engine mated to continuously variable transmission (CVT). The second half is a small, high torque 40-hp electric motor with a small inverter, compact battery, and a transaxle — a component that combines the transmission, differential, and drive into one integrated assembly, handling power from both engines.

Because there are times when the gas engine shuts down completely to conserve fuel, Toyota engineers have designed the air conditioning and power-steering systems to be driven electrically. There is also an ECO button that can control how much energy is being used by the climate control system.

The EPA estimates 40 mpg city/38 mpg highway for the Camry Hybrid.

“So far the only option that fits our fleet needs is the Toyota Camry Hybrid,” said Berg, who kept in close contact with TAMS’ local Toyota representative to ensure the vehicles were ordered in time to make their strict ordering due dates.