15 June 2004
AVALON TAXI PIONEER INCREASES FLEET
The Victorian taxi fleet that proved the fuel saving potential of Toyota’s Avalon Quad Cam V6 is about to commission its thirteenth Avalon.
Moorabbin-based Eastmoor Taxis conducted operational trials for Toyota’s factory warranted dual-fuel LPG conversion kit in 2002.
The first month of those tests saw Toyota Avalon better the taxi company’s fleet average consumption by 18 percent.
Eastmoor Taxis general manager Greg Hardeman said nearly two years of full-time operation had confirmed the initial fuel consumption results and driveability.
“In that first month, the initial car averaged 6.5 kilometres per litre of LPG - compared with our fleet average of 5.5 km per litre from our Ford Falcons,” he said.
“That’s an extra kilometre for every litre of LPG, with no deficit in performance compared to our other vehicles.
“It’s a considerable fuel saving, because our cabs average 150,000km per year,” Mr Hardeman said.
“And the driveability is as good as on petrol - you cannot pick the difference.”
Eastmoor Taxis is now expanding its Avalon fleet from three to 13 cars - which will represent almost 20 percent of its total fleet.
“We ordered 10 Avalon Mark III cars with Toyota’s taxi pack,” Greg Hardeman said.
“The first of those new cars was commissioned in February and we’ve commissioned an additional car every fortnight since.”
Greg Hardeman said his company’s first three cars attracted a good response from the general public and that response had not diminished.
“Passenger acceptance is still good - and people like the interior,” he said.
“The taxi pack provided the features we need for full-time operation, including vinyl seats and floor covering.”
Eastmoor Taxis is a 27-year-old family owned business, based at Moorabbin.
All the Avalons on Eastmoor Taxis’ fleet have the Toyota-developed and approved dual-fuel LPG kit.
The LPG dual-fuel conversion comes with a full Toyota three-year/100,000km factory warranty. The LPG(DA) kit can be fitted to the Avalon taxi pack and Avalon GXi model.
Avalon and current model Camry were the first two Toyota passenger vehicles with the availability of a Toyota-approved LPG-conversion kit.
Toyota developed the conversion kit system in association with Apollo Gas, using leading-edge Landi Renzo Lambda Control System 2 (LCS/2) components and software.
Benefits of the new Toyota-approved kit include low running costs and low emissions, coupled with optimum startability and driveability.
The Toyota approved kit has a 62 litre capacity LPG tank and a range of features to ensure optimum performance and economy in all driving conditions.
Toyota developed a unique engine ECU to maximise performance from Avalon’s Quad Cam Multi-valve V6 engine. …ends/14619
Toyota’s Avalon - fuel efficiency is boosting its popularity with taxi operators.