highway to the Future

by : Kaye Leery

Toyota, maker of the once famous , is bringing the "Highway to the Future: Mobile Hybrid Experience," to Livingston, Montana for the Northern Rockies Sustainability Fair. It is a nationwide tour that is designed to provide consumers with a firsthand opportunity to experience automotive hybrid technology.

In January 11, 2007, the tour debuted at the San Jose International Auto Show. It is now traveling to more than 150 events across the country during the next 18 months. Through a number of interactive educational exhibits and test drives, consumers will have an opportunity to test Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive system and learn about hybrid technology.

Celeste Migliore, Toyota's National Manager for Advanced Technology Vehicles, said that most people have heard of hybrid technology and probably have a shallow idea of how it works, but only a few have actually driven a hybrid and or taken an up-close look at its operation. According to Migliore, the tour allows consumers to learn more on the technology behind this system and the benefits derived from hybrid vehicles.

Highway to the Future: Mobile Hybrid Experience functions like a mobile museum to the environment as well as to alternative fuels. The exhibit will be situated at Sacajawea Park from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 14.

Within the exhibit, there are four distinct interactive learning areas. One is the "Alternative Fuels: Fueling the Future". It identifies the differences in the different types of alternative fuels and how they are produced. Next is the "Environment and Resources: Small Steps, Big Difference", which shows attendees what they can do to make a difference to the environment. The third one is "The Prius Driving Experience", which feigns the current Hybrid Synergy Drive technology allowing visitors to interact with system while on-screen instructions offer driving tips, and the last one is the "Hybrid Technology: Not All Hybrids are Created Equal" exhibit which gives visitors a better understanding of the different hybrid technology options on the market and how hybrids benefit the consumer and the environment as well.

Other than those, the exhibit provides attendees the chance to get behind the wheel of the Prius, Camry Hybrid and Highlander Hybrid for them to experience Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive system.

Not only interesting educational activities are offered by the hybrid experience. It is also designed to eliminate its own environmental impact. As a matter of fact, Toyota will plant more than 50,000 trees in honor of those visiting the experience in lieu of the National Arbor Day Foundation. These trees will help repay the "carbon footprint" of the trucks which are transporting the tour across the country and will continue to have a positive impact on the environment as years pass by.

Please visit for more information or the schedule of events. Experience hybrid!