Tag: hollywood

Toyota of Hollywood School Garden Groundbreaking

December 9, 2011 lacarguy Green Team, School Garden Project, Scion of Hollywood, Toyota of Hollywood Tags: , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwwjFr-_Frw&w=853&h=480]
Toyota of Hollywood’s School Gardens Program is off to a great start! During the first week of the program, the LA Conservation Corps worked strenuously to remove the pre-existing shrubbery and brush and flatten out the garden area. Later in the week LA Conservation Corps built wooden garden beds and filled them with nutrient-rich soil to support a healthy garden.

Next week, the garden will really start to take shape when students at Helen Bernstein High School will start planting the first seedlings in the garden beds. We can’t wait to get the students involved in this wonderful program!

Toyota of Hollywood Provides Prius' For Three Hollywood Starts To Attend 2011 EMA Awards

October 14, 2011 lacarguy Grades of Green, LAcarGUY Sustainability, Toyota of Hollywood Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

Toyota Hollywood will be providing three Black Prius’ for the 21st Annual Environmental Media Association awards October 15th at the Warner Brother’s lot. We will be driving Emmanuelle Chriqui, Perrey Reeves and Constance Zimmer.

Emmanuelle loves the Prius, as she has purchased two from Toyota Hollywood already!

Providing Prius’ is something we at Toyota Hollywood do every year! We love to drive celebrities to events like the EMA Awards, however we did not know who we were actually driving to the event this year until Wednesday night!

The annual EMA Awards honor film and television personalities, productions, musicians and musical tours that convey environmental messages in the most creative and influential ways. Since 1991, the EMA Awards has been the only program solely devoted to celebrating the entertainment industry’s environmental efforts. A pioneer in linking the power of celebrity to environmental awareness, it was EMA who invented the ‘green carpet,’ launching the concept of taking a hybrid or alternative fuel vehicle, not a limo, to the annual Awards show.

A Closer Look: Toyota’s 2012 Prius V

June 29, 2011 lacarguy Green Articles, Hybrid Vehicles, Toyota Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 1 Comment

As you may know, Toyota is growing its Prius family line of vehicles in hopes that a few variations on our most successful battery-powered recipe will offer buyers solutions that the conventional Prius simply couldn’t match. Have you been considering a Prius but felt that the standard vehicle would not accommodate your growing family? Or do you lead a more active lifestyle and require something that will easily carry all your gear without you having to master the art of packing? Well, do we have the vehicle for you.

When it came to designing the Prius V, Toyota’s designers wanted to make sure that the newcomer would still be instantly recognized as a member of the Prius dynasty. Up front, the vehicle wears both stylized head lamps and a rounded front fascia that’s remarkably similar to the 2011 Prius. It also worth noting that the front fenders and hood are completely new sheetmetal. Also, the headlight housing has been altered to incorporate a new ridge that reduces wind turbulence around the side view mirrors. As a result, the small change has a huge impact on interior noise.

From the side, the wagon-like presence of the Prius V is inescapable with its long roof, similarly lengthy rear doors, and an extended cargo area. The rear offers a fairly sizable hatch that terminates in a unique rear spoiler which serves an aerodynamic purpose. Toyota designers and engineers made an effort to decrease the vehicle’s coefficient of drag as much as possible to increase fuel efficiency. Enhancements include touches like protrusions from the front and rear bumper, specially designed side skirts and extensive underbody cladding that help the Prius V return its .29 coefficient of drag.

Engineers essentially stretched the Prius floorplan to give the Prius V an extra three inches of wheelbase and six inches of overall length. Combined with a taller roof, additional glass and large rear hatch, this newcomer weighs 3,274 lb. Opting to skip throwing extra horsepower to all that weight, engineers simply changed the axle ratio from 3.268:1 to 3.704:1. As a result, the Prius V feels just as adequate on the road as the third-generation Prius. The new gear ratio means that acceleration is perfectly acceptable for matching wits with traffic in town or on the highway with 0-60 mph sprints taking an estimated 10.4 seconds. A total of four drive modes are accessible via buttons mounted on the center console, including EV, Eco, Power, and Normal modes.

Under the hood, the same 2ZR-FXE 1.8-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine found in the base Prius supplies power in conjunction with a pair of liquid-cooled motor generators. Engineers designed the transaxle case in the Prius V with integrated water jackets for the first time to keep the motors at a steady temperature, thereby increasing longevity and performance at the same time. Combined output sits at 134 hp at 5,200 rpm and 105 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm. The exhaust recirculation system was also redesigned to decrease the drivetrain’s warm-up period, as a result, the Prius V can reach optimum operating temperature up to a minute sooner than vehicles equipped with the old system.

As most other automakers are flocking to lithium-ion batteries, Toyota has decided that there is no need to pursue the added cost of the technology for the Prius V. Instead, the hybrid wagon uses a modified version of the same nickel-metal hydride battery pack found in the third-gen Prius. Total output has been boosted slightly to 650 volts, and the more compact battery configuration keeps from impeding on interior room. Additionally, the battery pack’s cooling duct now draws ambient air from a hidden location under the second-row seats.

If you’re looking toward a small SUV, a crossover, or a wagon, the Prius V has all the functionality of those vehicles with the fuel economy and panache that only the Prius name can offer. With improved functionality, the Prius V can be the vehicle to accommodate a growing family with an active lifestyle. Contact us to book your test drive today and we will notify you as soon as the vehicle hits our showroom. Follow us on Twitter and join our Facebook community to keep up with the latest updates.

Fisker Karma Debuts at Monaco Grand Prix

June 2, 2011 lacarguy Electric Vehicle Extended Range, Electric Vehicles, Fisker, Green Articles, Plugin Hybrid Vehicles Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

It is quite fitting that HSH Prince Albert of Monaco was the one to put the Fisker Karma through its paces at the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix. His Serene Highness is known for his commitment to the environment and has always expressed a strong interest in encouraging innovative solutions for environmental protection and sustainable development around the world.

According to Henrik Fisker, it was actually the Sovereign Prince that was the inspiration behind the development of the Karma. Fisker commented: “The Fisker Karma project has a distinct Monaco link. Prince Albert was one of the people who inspired me to create the Fisker Karma. When I met him at the Top Marques Show in Monaco in 2006 he commented that he would love to see a fuel-efficient luxury car, and from that small seed grew the concept of what became Fisker Automotive and our focus on premium EVer cars that deliver pure driving passion.” We want to thank both the principality of Monaco and Prince Albert for not only being the inspiration, but also a great support for our groundbreaking automotive green initiative,” continued Fisker.

Visitors to the world’s most prestigious motorsport event were among the first to see the first Fisker Karma off the production line as it made its European driving debut on the famous street circuit. On Saturday 28 May 2011, before official race qualifying began, the first European production version of the Fisker Karma, the world’s first true Electric Vehicle with extended range, took to the streets of Monaco, completing a couple of laps.

The Fisker Karma is the first American-designed and engineered luxury vehicle specifically developed to appeal to world markets, inspired by Henrik’s paradigm of Responsible Luxury. It is the only luxury sedan in the world that meets future fuel consumption and emission requirements, making it suitable for any international city. It is the only true Electric Vehicle with extended range where its rear wheels are powered using two rear-mounted 201.5 horsepower (150 kW) electric traction motors that draw energy from the lithium-ion battery pack for up to 50 miles (80 km.) The gasoline engine drives a 175 kW electric generator to power the motors and there is no mechanical link between this engine and the drive motors.

The Fisker Karma is unique in that it can operate in two separate modes: Stealth and Sport. Stealth Mode maximizes efficiency, giving it the greatest range on battery power before having to activate the gasoline engine-driven generator to sustain the battery charge. In this mode, the Karma is capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in 7.9 seconds and tops out at 95 mph. In Sport Mode, the gasoline engine drives the generator to provide enough electricity for 403 total system horsepower, which accelerates the Karma from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.9 seconds, topping out at 125 mph.

The Fisker Karma was designed to be a true driver’s car. Its proprietary aluminum space frame gives it the necessary rigidity and strength that enable world-class ride and handling characteristics. It is the first production car that has been specifically tuned to run on standard 22-inch aluminum wheels, giving it that final air of sophistication.

Fisker plans on delivering vehicles to all current deposit holders during the 2011 model year. We invite you to come in for a test drive as soon as the first vehicles hit showrooms. Follow us on Twitter and join our Facebook community to stay in the loop of the latest updates.

ACarIsNotARefrigerator.com Looks Forward To The Opening Of Fisker Santa Monica

May 27, 2011 lacarguy Electric Vehicle Extended Range, Fisker Santa Monica, Green Articles, Hybrid Vehicles Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

At the beginning of 2011, I heard rumors of a Fisker store coming to town. A few weeks ago, while I was at Lexus Santa Monica testing the new 2011 Lexus CT 200h, I learned that Sullivan Automotive Group (Lexus Santa Monica’s parent) was building a Fisker store next to its Volkswagen Santa Monica dealership.

The location, at the corner of Santa Monica Blvd and 25th Ave, is the old Lexus Santa Monica site that is now the internet sales department for the VW dealership. The building is relatively small, but you don’t need a large space for the Fisker brand because they only have one model, the voluptuous $95,900 – $110,000 Karma electric extended range sports car.

Sullivan Automotive Group is the 33rd largest dealership group in the US (2010). In 2010, it sold a total of 21,239 units (new, used and wholesale) and had total revenue (including parts, service, etc.) of $632,338,233 – with only seven dealerships:

Lexus Santa Monica
Toyota/Scion Santa Monica
Toyota/Scion of Hollywood
Volkswagen of Santa Monica
Pacific Audi
Pacific Porsche
Pacific Volkswagen
Fisker Santa Monica (opening Spring/Summer 2011)

The group uses the catch-all LACarGuy.com website to promote its stores and, if you live in LA, you’ve seen billboards for LACarGuy and TV commercials featuring patriarch, Owner/President Michael Sullivan. All of Sullivan’s dealerships have adopted environmentally-friendly practices, both in the showroom and in the service bays. Green is good for business these days.

LACarGuy claims that it’s the number one hybrid dealer in the world. I know the Lexus store is the number one Lexus hybrid seller in the US. So I wouldn’t be surprised if the combination of hybrid sales from the two Toyota dealerships, the Lexus store and a few niche hybrids like the VW Touareg, Porsche Cayenne, and Porsche Panamera Hybrids, put it on top. We do love our hybrids in LA.

The group also has EV charging stations “live” at some of their dealerships. Odd, as none of the vehicles they sell are plug-in hybrids – yet. The Fisker Karma is a plug-in hybrid EV and the upcoming plug-in Prius will also use the charging stations.

The Fisker brand is a good fit for Sullivan Automotive and the City of Santa Monica. So far, it’s the only Fisker dealer in greater Los Angeles. The next closest store is in Orange County.
If you’ve never been to Sullivan’s flagship Lexus Santa Monica dealership, it’s worth your time to see this video. I give them props for restoring this beautiful, historic building.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5v_-lMqhg4w?hd=1&w=500&h=314]

The People’s Republic of Santa Monica is the perfect location for the plug-in EV Fisker Karma. It’s home to ultra-wealthy aging hippies, environmentalists and lefty socialists. Entertainment industry and creative-types populate trendy restaurants and condos. Expensive boutiques on Montana Avenue attract celebrity shoplifters. You’ll find LEED-certified buildings and the most creative, modern architecture there.

Santa Monica is home to Heal the Bay. It’s the unofficial “Home of the Homeless.” The City hosts four terrific Farmers Markets each week in three different locations. Organic and locally-sourced food is pervasive.

Santa Monica banned smoking on public beaches and the outdoor patios of restaurants. Plastic bags are banned from supermarkets. The City’s fleet of non-emergency vehicles is mostly hybrids or alternative fuel vehicles. The City’s Big Blue Buses all run on compressed natural gas (CNG). It’s not uncommon to see an old diesel Mercedes that’s been converted to run on B20 bio-diesel or used vegetable oil. The Prius appears to be the unofficial transportation appliance of Santa Monica — you can’t throw a stone in any direction without hitting one.

Santa Monica is ground zero (in the LA Metro) area for everything environmentally-friendly, progressive and “green.” There are many wealthy early adopters of EVs and other advanced hybrid technology living in or near Santa Monica. In short, it’s the perfect market for a $100,000 extended-range electric vehicle.

The Fisker Karma is a plug-in electric vehicle with a gas engine that drives a generator to charge the batteries for extended-range driving. Fisker claims the Karma can travel 50 miles on the batteries and an additional 200 miles in extended-range mode. The concept is much like the Chevy Volt; but the Karma’s execution is very different and the target audience is wealthier.

The Karma packs a GM Ecotec 2.0 liter direct-inject turbo I-4 engine just behind the front wheels. It drives a generator to charge the large-capacity 20 kWh lithium-ion battery pack that forms a rigid spine down the center of the car. The Karma is a proper rear-drive sports car (albeit a bit heavy at 4,100 lbs) driven by rear-mounted dual 300 kW electric motors good for a total of 403 hp with a heart-stopping 981 lb-ft torque available from the moment your foot hits the electron exciter. The Karma seats four adults and can hit 60 mph in 5.9 seconds.

Fisker Automotive got more than $500 million from the Department of Energy to build the Karma in the US. Fisker bought a shuttered GM plant in Delaware and is in the process of converting it into a shiny modern factory to produce its sleek sports car. It’s going to have to sell lots of cars to pay back its investors.

Below is the Fisker Karma’s first “Get Hot” commercial:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mo5YOZ2saZk&w=500&h=314]

In the meantime, the Karma is being built in Uusikaupunki, Finland by contract manufacturer Valmet Automotive. Valmet also builds the Boxster/Caymen line for Porsche at this plant. The Karma began production on March 21, 2011 so deliveries may happen as soon as this summer. I’m sure Fisker Santa Monica is taking orders. Just have your checkbook ready.

Motor Trend’s Technical Editor, Kim Reynolds, gives his take on the Karma:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8m5RRJ3-Cr0?hd=1&w=500&h=314]

Reprinted with permission from Todd Bianco’s ACarIsNotARefrigerator.com Blog The Truth About Cars and the Car Biz in LA

Heal The Bay Issues 2010-2011 Annual Beach Report Card

May 26, 2011 lacarguy Charity, Green Articles, Heal The Bay, LAcarGUY Sustainability Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IaN70dvqcY?hd=1&w=500&h=314]

As many of you know that LAcarGUY expanded it’s relationship with Heal the Bay by sponsoring the Beach Report Cards. The latest report has just come out and it looks at the health of the water and beaches of the West Coast, from Washington to California.

Overall beach water quality at Los Angeles County beaches dipped in 2010-11, according to Heal the Bay’s 21st annual Beach Report Card , which the environmental group released yesterday.

Heal the Bay analysts assigned A-to-F letter grades to 92 beaches in the county for the dry-weather period from March 2010 through April 2011 based on levels of weekly bacterial pollution. Some 75% of sites earned A or B grades, compared to an 80% tally in last year’s report.

The decline can be attributed to a number of factors, most notably higher than usual rainfall totals during the reporting period. Notably, some chronically polluted L.A. County beaches that had seen marked improvement reverted to poor form this year despite millions of dollars being spent on water quality improvements.

The 75% figure for L.A. beaches receiving A or B grades is well below the statewide average of 90%. Despite significant improvements over the course of two decades, Los Angeles County continues to have the greatest number of beaches with poor water quality grades of any county in the state.

“Despite numerous individual beach success stories, this year demonstrated that there hasn’t been progress reducing major beach pollution sources like the Los Angeles River, Malibu Creek and Topanga Creek,” said Dr. Mark Gold, president of Heal the Bay.

The Beach Report Card is a comprehensive evaluation of coastal water quality based on daily and weekly samples taken from sites along the entire coast of California. A poor grade means beachgoers face a higher risk of contracting illnesses such as stomach flu, ear infections, upper respiratory infections and skin rashes than swimmers at cleaner beaches.

(Ocean goers can check updated grades for their local beach each Friday at beachreportcard.org. Later this summer, Heal the Bay will launch an application for mobile devices that will allow beachgoers to access the latest water grades instantly)

A handful of significantly polluted beaches helped drag down the county’s overall grades, including those in Avalon and Malibu. Long Beach also played a major role. After three years of improved water quality during summer dry weather, Long Beach water quality fell an alarming 40% from last year.
Eight beaches in the county received year-round F grades. And Los Angeles County leads Heal the Bay’s annual Top 10 Beach Bummer List, with four locations in the ranking of the state’s most polluted beaches.

Avalon Beach in Catalina continues its reign as the most polluted beach in Los Angeles County. However after several years of delay, the city of Avalon granted $5.1 million toward sewer improvements, which will hopefully get underway this summer.

Other county sites on the state’s top 10 Beach Bummer list: Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro, Topanga State Beach and Colorado Lagoon in Long Beach.
On the positive side, seven beaches in Los Angeles County were placed on Heal the Bay’s Honor Roll, meaning they scored perfect A+ grades by not having any bacterial exceedances in year-round dry weather.

After spending more than $2 million and years of staff time to improve water quality at the Santa Monica Pier, city officials can take pride in a an annual A grade for the beach south of the pier. The dramatic swing removes the pier from its historical spot on the top 10 Beach Bummer list.

Meanwhile, Orange County beaches once again recorded excellent water quality grades, well above the state average. Some 96% of 84 locations monitored year-round during dry weather received an A or B during the summer, steady with last year’s report.

Despite the generally excellent water quality, Orange County had two historically troubled locales join the Top 10 Beach Bummer List: Poche Beach and Doheny Beach. A dry weather filtration-disinfection plant completed last year at Poche Beach has yet to meet performance specifications. County officials continue an ongoing effort to improve surf zone water quality, however, and are actively working to identify lingering causes of pollution.

Wet weather water quality in Orange County this past year was poor with 64% of monitoring locations receiving A or B grades. That figure compares with 42% in 2009-10, an improvement that benefits the county’s sizable population of year-round surfers.

Ventura County also enjoyed excellent water quality in 2010-11. All of the 40 beaches monitored during summer dry weather received A grades. There were no F grades during any reporting period. However, D grades were assigned to the following wet-weather locales: Surfer’s Point, Promenade Park, San Buenaventura Beach at San Jon Road, Surfer’s Knoll and Channel Islands Harbor Beach Park.

One of the reasons that Los Angeles County lags in water quality is the fact that its monitoring agencies – unlike most others in the state — collect samples directly in front of flowing storm drains and creeks. Orange and Ventura counties monitor 25 yards or more away from flowing drains and creeks.

Monitoring at “point zero” locations, where polluted runoff often pools, is the best way to ensure that health risks to swimmers are captured in water quality data.
However, not all water quality problems in Los Angeles County can be attributed to more stringent testing.

Year-round dry-weather water quality in Long Beach fell dramatically, with only 33% of its monitored beaches receiving A or B grades during the period. That rate lags significantly behind L.A. County’s 76% A or B total.

Long Beach’s water quality is poor overall because it sits at the terminus of the pollution-choked L.A. River. The nearly 1,000-square-mile drainage area is the predominant source of fecal bacteria to Long Beach waters.

The city is to be commended for investigating and fixing leaking or disconnected sewage pump lines and improperly working diversions. But ultimately the city’s water quality is directly tied to the rainfall amounts and enormous runoff volumes from the L.A. River.

Summertime water quality in Santa Monica Bay beaches was excellent, with 91% of the beaches from Palos Verdes to Leo Carillo receiving A or B grades. The figure is markedly better than the seven-year average of 82% and just edged out the statewide average of 80%.

On a more downbeat note, infrastructure improvements at Malibu’s Paradise Cove and Marie Canyon and Los Angeles’ Cabrillo Beach failed to yield similar results as Santa Monica Pier. These sites still earn D and F grades.

Wet weather water quality in L.A. County in 2010-11 fell significantly, with only 29% of beaches receiving A or B grades compared to 50% last year. Wet weather grades were 7% below the county’s seven-year average, with 40 out of 87 sites receiving an F grade.

Cities continue to grapple with storm water runoff and the harmful effects it has on year-round ocean users. Heal the Bay recommends that no one swim in the ocean during, and for at least three days after, a significant rainstorm.

State results
Statewide, most California beaches had very good water quality this past year during year-round dry weather, with 284 of 324 (88%) locations receiving A and B grades. That marks a 2% dip from the previous report.

Overall, 28 of the beaches (9%) monitored statewide received D or F grades during year-round dry weather. Eighteen beaches statewide received an overall F grade during the busy summer beach-going season for the 2010-11 Beach Report Card.

Numerous California beaches vied for the monitoring location with the consistently poorest dry-weather water quality.

Here are the Top 10 “Beach Bummers” in California (starting with the worst):

The Top 10 Beach Bummers
1. Cowell Beach – at the wharf (Santa Cruz County)
2. Avalon Harbor Beach on Catalina Island (L.A. County)
3. Cabrillo Beach harborside (Los Angeles County)
4. Topanga State Beach at creek mouth (L.A. County)
5. Poche Beach (Orange County)
6. North Beach/Doheny (Orange County)
7. Arroyo Burro Beach (Santa Barbara County)
8. Baker Beach at Lobos Creek (San Francisco County)
9. Colorado Lagoon (Los Angeles County)
10. Capitola Beach — west of the jetty (Santa Cruz County)

Honor Roll
Some 68 of the 324 (21%) beaches with year-round dry weather grades this year scored a perfect A+. These beaches had zero exceedances of state bacterial standards for ocean water quality throughout the entire time frame of this report. Heal the Bay proudly places these beaches on our Beach Report Card Honor Roll. A list of these locations in Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura counties can be found in the full report.

Uncertain Funding Statewide for Beach Monitoring
County monitoring agencies continue to feel the effects of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 2008 line-item veto of state beach monitoring funds. The governor axed funds that supported the collection and processing of ocean water samples as well as the posting of signs to notify swimmers of health risks.

Fortunately, some local governments have temporarily allocated additional funding to provide this invaluable service to the beach-going public. The State Water Resources Control Board also provided major stop-gap funding through 2011.

There is no secured state funding for ongoing testing of ocean water quality in 2012, placing public health at risk. If the situation does not improve, over half of the beach monitoring in the state will stop. Heal the Bay will continue to work with state and local governments to ensure that ongoing funding is secured.

For a detailed look at beach results for each county and report methodology, please refer to our complete report. A PDF version is available at www.healthebay.org.

About the Beach Report Card
All county health departments are required to test beach water quality samples for three types of indicator bacteria at least once a week. Heal the Bay compiles the complex shoreline data, analyzes it and assigns an easy-to-understand letter grade. We analyzed 445 beaches, from San Diego to Humboldt counties, based on levels of weekly bacterial pollution reported from April 2010 through March 2011.

The summary includes an analysis of water quality during four time periods: summer dry season (April through October), year-round dry weather, winter dry weather, and year-round wet weather. The grading methodology is endorsed by the State Water Resources Control Board.

An FAQ about the Beach Report Card is available at www.healthebay.org/brc/FAQs. Heal the Bay’s interactive microsite contains weekly updates as well as historical grades. www.healthebay.org/brc

Heal the Bay’s Beach Report Card is made possible through the generous support of The Diller – von Furstenberg Family Foundation, simplehuman, LAcarGUY, SIMA, and Grousbeck Family Foundation

Toyota Opens First Pipeline-Fed Hydrogen Station in North America

May 23, 2011 lacarguy Green Articles, Green Auto Technology, Toyota Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

Toyota achieved a milestone today with the opening of the first hydrogen fueling station in the U.S. fed directly from an active industrial hydrogen pipeline. The station is the result of lengthy collaboration between Toyota, Air Products, Shell, South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) and the Department of Energy (DOE).

The station is located next to TMS sales and marketing headquarters and as landowners, Toyota leases the land to Shell for a nominal fee. As station owner/provider, Shell works directly with Air Products who provides onsite equipment and station management. The pipeline gas also is provided by Air Products from its plants in Wilmington and Carson, Calif. SCAQMD and DOE provided project funding assistance.

“This is the first time Shell has worked closely with a vehicle manufacturer to develop a demonstration station,” said Julian Evison, general manager of operations for Shell alternative energies. “The industry has made good technical progress, but cooperation is a necessity for hydrogen to achieve its commercial potential as a road transport fuel.”

The facility will provide hydrogen for the Toyota fuel cell hybrid demonstration program vehicles as well as other manufacturers’ fuel cell vehicle fleets in the Los Angeles area. “Building an extensive hydrogen re-fueling infrastructure is a critical step in the successful market launch of fuel cell vehicles,” said Chris Hostetter, group vice president, product and strategic planning, TMS. “We plan to bring a fuel cell vehicle to market in 2015, or sooner, and the infrastructure must be in place to support our customers’ needs.”

Air Products also worked in collaboration with Toyota and other fuel cell vehicle manufacturers to develop the Hydrogen Vehicle Authorization System (HVAS), which is another industry first and unique to the Torrance station. The HVAS wireless vehicle recognition system allows station-to-vehicle recognition to facilitate quick and convenient fueling for customers.

Toyota’s fuel cell hybrid vehicle fleet has logged several million miles since hitting the road in 2002. The first generation fuel cell hybrid vehicles (FCHV) estimated range was 130 miles. In 2009, the latest generation vehicle, Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicle – Advanced (FSHV-adv), achieved an estimated range of 431 miles on a single fill of hydrogen. In addition to fuel cell stack efficiency and range improvements, durability and cold temperature performance have greatly improved along with significant reductions in manufacturing and materials costs. Toyota’s current FCHV-adv nationwide demonstration program is placing more than 100 vehicles with demonstration partners by 2013, providing one of the largest fleets of active fuel cell vehicles in the country. The primary goal of the demonstration program is to spur infrastructure development prior to fuel cell vehicle market introduction in 2015. Successful infrastructure development will require collaborative efforts between manufacturers, government regulators, and business, similar to the current partnerships formed to open the Torrence Shell hydrogen demo station.

LAcarGUY Wins Sustainable Quality Awards Grand Prize

April 22, 2011 lacarguy LAcarGUY News & Events, LAcarGUY Sustainability, Lexus Santa Monica, mike sullivan, Sustainable Works Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 1 Comment

LAcarGUY is proud to announce that they will be honored with the grand prize at the 2011 Sustainable Quality Awards (SQA) at the Sheraton Santa Monica from 11am – 2pm on Wednesday, April 27th. The SQAs, a partnership between the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, Sustainable Works and the City of Santa Monica, celebrates local business achievement in economic development, social responsibility, and stewardship of the environment.

LAcarGUY is the first automotive dealership to win an SQA grand prize reinforcing the company’s leadership in an industry not known for its earth friendly practices. The grand prize was based on a number of factors including:

LAcarGUY is #1 Hybrid dealer in the world, and Toyota Santa Monica is the #1 Prius dealership in the world.
• LAcarGUY offers vehicles at varied price points that utilize different energy sources (gasoline, hybrid, electric) lending itself to all economic conditions and customer choice.
• Toyota Santa Monica won the coveted Environmental Sustainability Award presented by Senator Pavley’s office.
• LAcarGUY was the first automotive dealership in the country to install the “Level 2” SAE J-1772 EV chargers for the new plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles.
• LAcarGUY is providing open access to the chargers at no cost in order to facilitate the adoption of electric vehicles.
• Lexus Santa Monica is the #1 Lexus Hybrid Dealer in the U.S.
• LAcarGUY spent close to $15 million renovating the Lexus Santa Monica dealership instead of tearing it down.
• In January 2011, a major LED retrofit was executed at Lexus Santa Monica.
• LAcarGUY created the position of Manager of the Environment, a Green Team and a Green Newsletter that includes tips for employees on how to conserve energy in the office and at home.
• LAcarGUY has a long history of giving back to the community, and in 2010 employees volunteered at 15 events for a total of 650+ pro-bono hours.
• In 2010 LAcarGUY donated $200k to a side range of environmental charities including Heal the Bay, Environmental Media Association, Global Green, Tree People and Sustainable Works.

The 16th Annual Sustainable Quality Awards are Santa Monica’s most prestigious environmental event, and will be presented by LACarGUY and Morley Builders at the Sheraton Santa Monica on April 27th, 2011. Sarah Backhouse, host of Discovery’s “Planet 100″ show is the emcee, and Evan Kleiman, host of Good Food on KCRW will give the luncheon keynote.

Please take a few minutes and enjoy some of the photos from a few of our events:

Lexus CT200H Launch Event
Heal The Bay Coast Cleanup
Toyota Santa Monica celebrates unveiling of EV Charging Stations
Arbor Day 2011

LAcarGUY's Mike Sullivan Finishes Third At Toyota Long Beach Pro/Am Race

April 20, 2011 lacarguy LAcarGUY News & Events, mike sullivan, Toyota Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

In a field fill with celebrities and racing stars, LAcarGUY‘s Mike Sullivan battled hard to a podium finish of third in the Celebrity Class and a very solid fifth place overall in the 2011 Toyota Pro/Celebrity race during the Long Beach Grand Prix weekend. Mike finished just behind former “Malcolm In The Middle” star Frankie Munoz, who is a highly skilled driver and competed in the Pro category!

By participating in the race Toyota donated $5,000 in Mike’s name to the Racing for Kids foundation. Racing for Kids is a national nonprofit program benefiting children’s hospitals in Long Beach and Orange County, Calif. Toyota has donated $1.9 million on behalf of the race and its participants to various children’s hospitals since 1991.

The Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race is scheduled to be broadcast on the Speed Channel on Sunday, May 1, at Noon PDT and will be rebroadcast after that. (See local listings or www.speedtv.com for times.)

You can see the overall results below and a few pictures from the event and the LAcarGUY team cheering Mike on.

Porsche Rennsport Reunion IV to be Held in the West for the First Time

March 21, 2011 lacarguy Pacific Porsche, Porsche Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , 1 Comment

Porsche Cars North America (PCNA) and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca have announced that Porsche Rennsport Reunion IV will be held at the famed California racetrack the weekend of October 14-16, 2011.

After successfully staging the event, which is held every three years, at three venues in the east, with the first held in Lime Rock in 2001, Rennsport Reunion IV will now be moving to the west. This announcement is great news for the vast array of car aficionados and Porsche enthusiasts that live closer to the Pacific coast.

Rennsport Reunion IV brings together an unprecedented gathering of notable Porsche vintage and current race cars, as well as those who have driven them to victory at the world’s most famous sports car races. The three-day event of on-track competition is complemented by a concours d’elegance, which is open to invited race participants, as well as special activities celebrating the decades-long history of the legendary 911 race cars.

“While the Rennsport name has become a staple fixture for international collectors and racers over the past ten years, choosing the Monterey Peninsula will open up this one-of-a-kind gathering to many Porsche fans in California and beyond who were previously unable to attend,” said Detlev von Platen, president and CEO of Porsche Cars North America. “Now they’ll have the opportunity to see, feel and hear, from up close, hundreds of famous Porsche race cars and dozens of their drivers from past and present during a truly memorable weekend dedicated to Porsche’s motorsport heritage.”

Porsche Rennsport Reunion IV will bring together a variety of Porsche’s most historic racing models from the nimble 550 Spyder of the mid-50s through the mighty 917 and 956/962 of the 70s and 80s to the highly successful GT3 RSR of the last decade. A special tribute will be paid to the numerous racing versions of the Porsche 911 and the countless victories won over the decades.

“This will truly be a rare gathering of significant Porsche race cars on the West Coast,” commented Gill Campbell, CEO and general manager of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. “Porsche has a long racing tradition in Monterey and we look forward to celebrating its heritage in a befitting manner for everyone to enjoy.”

Porsche and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca are working in association with the Porsche Race Car Classic to combine efforts to raise awareness for the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation and the UCSF Thoracic Oncology Program.

Therefore, complementing the Rennsport Reunion IV event is the Porsche Race Car Classic which is exclusive concours held at nearby Quail Lodge in Carmel on Sunday, October 16. Steve Heinrichs, producer of the Porsche Race Car Classic, explains, “This once-in-a-lifetime gathering of vintage Porsche race cars solely from Porsche’s break-out era of 1950-1965 will raise critical funding to directly support lung cancer research. We’ll have 550s, 718s, 804s, 904s, 356s, Abarths, and more, in numbers and provenance never before seen.”