Green cars are not exactly a new thing for Toyota, which earlier showcased a variety of cars that are friendly to the environment. However, this time, the company took it literally and developed a hybrid concept car made from seaweed, displayed at the Melbourne International Motor Show in Australia this week.
The 1/X is being termed as Toyota’s dream machine, which, if developed, could make millions of dreams come true. The name wants to suggest that this hybrid car of the future has the advantage of just a fraction of the environmental footprint of today's cleanest vehicles.
The car uses high-tech materials available today, but is built with the future in mind and uses light-weight carbon-fiber reinforced plastic throughout the body frame for collision safety. Although the car is only a concept, the technologies it explores could be used for all Toyota vehicles, but it might take some time to do so.
The car is powered by a 500cc engine that is about a third the size of Toyota’s ingenuity, the Prius. Weighing just over 400kg, the vehicle can also be powered by electricity, giving it better speed and range.
Designers are aiming at twice the fuel economy by combining a plug-in hybrid power train with flexible fuel technology using a mixture of ethanol and petrol. The 500cc engine allows charging from external sources, such as a power point at home or at work.
However, don't expect this seaweed car to appear in showrooms anytime soon, as it might be at least a decade until Toyota believes cars like the 1/X will be made of plant-based plastic. Until then, the regular electric or hybrid cars will just have to do. We are just a few, but there are many of you, Softpedia users, out there. That's why we thought it would be a good idea to create an email address for you to help us a little in finding gadgets we missed. Interesting links are bound to be posted with recognition going mainly to those who submit. The address is .