Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Prius Makes Its Debut In The United Arab Emriates

Yes, you heard that right. One of the homes of free flowing oil is, just now, for the very first time, selling the Prius. The UAE will see its first shipments of Prius ever, this month.

The glass of Saud Abbasi, Managing Director of Toyota at distributor Al Futtaim Motors, is very much half full. 
He told 7DAYS at the official launch of the Prius: “With the UAE’s very clear vision on what they want to do in terms of sustainability we felt this was the right time to bring the Prius into the UAE market.”
With fuel prices lower than before deregulation plus the UAE’s love of gas-guzzling SUVs, the Prius will surely still be a tough sell, won’t it? “There are many factors that would make it feel not necessary to bring hybrid into this market,” says Abbasi, “but I think the UAE has proven that it’s able to successfully do a lot of things which feel impossible or impractical.
“It’s clear that the nation wants to be a role model in sustainability. This part of the world has not been a leader in this field but now the UAE has definitely put a foot on the ground and said this is the direction we are going to go in. And irrespective of factors such as low fuel prices and so on, when the nation decides it is going to do something it is clear they can get it done.”
Interestingly enough, the UAE is the 80th country the Prius will be sold in.

I also found two things too good not to post here. One, is this delightfully quaint little graphic explaining what the hybrid does, which was so 2005 that I had to post it...

And these comments, which I found very enlightening given the practicalities of importing a hybrid vehicle into one of the hottest countries on the planet. Apparently neighboring Dubai has had no problems with the heat negatively impacting the batteries which is interesting as I know of at least person here in our own deserty Southwest who has seen the heat impact his battery performance.

Given the lack of active temperature management in the Prius battery pack, I marvel at that, assuming it's a widespread fact and not just an anecdote. And yes, that works in both directions.