Toyota has Japan’s first hybrid boat image

The Japanese company has a deadline in 2050 to become even greener than it its today and its strategy is seemingly affecting all of its divisions – including the one catering for boat production.

You might remember we discussed on occasion the fact that Toyota also builds boats – under the Ponam branding. And this specific lineup has now become a little greener thanks to the arrival of the experimental PONAM-28V, a model featuring a hybrid powertrain. The watercraft with the electrified powertrain is not available to the public just yet – the company is lending three of them to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government for evaluation from July 2018 to March 2021. Toyota even adds this is “Japan’s first leisure craft with a parallel hybrid system.” The model uses a 3.0-liter internal combustion engine good for 256 horsepower (191 kilowatts) and an electric motor adding another 48 hp (36 kW) and a good 258 pound-feet (350 Newton-meters) of torque.

The lithium-ion battery has 11 kilowatt-hours and because it’s a parallel hybrid the watercraft can use just electric power at times when pilots want lower emissions or to deliver less noise. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government will actually put them to good use – the 28-foot boats will be providing maintenance duty for piers and ports facilities at the city’s port. And the boats will also be in use during the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, transporting people to locations along the waterfront.