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Toyota’s New Hybrid Boat – The Ponam-28V

The Prius has given Toyota a bad name when it comes to their development of hybrids. Jeremy Clarkson even goes as far to reserve a special level of hatred for the Prius. He calls it a ‘cynical marketing exercise for the gullible and the stupid’. He says:

Anyone who buys one, likes one, or praises one in anyway is a complete and utter imbecile.

James May of course stands by the fact that he finds them interesting, but as he stated in the Q&A livestream on DriveTribe months back, he finds cars interesting in general – that includes the Prius. If you fancy watching Jeremy’s rant about the Prius, I’ve plonked the video below.

Hoping that they can make up for the lethargic snail that is the Toyota Prius, Toyota has just announced their creation of the first hybrid boat called the PONAM-28V, making it the very first hybrid boat in Japan that runs the electric motor parallel to the combustion engine. In total it produces just over 300 horsepower, with the single 3.0 litre engine producing 256 of that, and the motor producing an almost insignificant 48.

“What is the point?” you may be asking. Well, like the Prius, I expect it is being used primarily as a marketing opportunity. Toyota is gaining no income from these boats as a large number of them are being given to the government of Japan to be used by dock workers, and in 2020, the Olympics, to ferry Olympians around the bay.  In return, Toyota will receive data on how the boats perform.

This may be the first Toyota hybrid that could actually gain some speed without the need of being thrown off a cliff face. But don’t start saving up for a deposit anytime soon, as private sales aren’t even being considered until after 2021.

Instead, take a leaf out of Jeremy’s book and buy a Gibbs Quadski. They look much more fun.


Alex Harrington

Alex started racing at a young age so certainly knows his way around a car and a track. He can just about put a sentence together too, which helps. He has a great interest in the latest models, but would throw all of his money at a rusty old French classic and a 300ZX. Contact: [email protected]

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One Comment

  1. Prius have led the world with hybrid and paved the way for battery EVs.
    No doubt the boat will be paving a similar path.
    Clarkson is plainly a jerk.

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