ABU DHABI — Toyota Motor Corporation’s Prius was awarded the 2010 Zayed Future Energy Prize on Tuesday at a ceremony held at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi.Toyota was singled out for its ground breaking fuel efficiency system of the third-generation Toyota Prius, the world’s first mass-produced hybrid vehicle.
The prestigious award was created in 2008 to honour of the legacy of the late Ruler of Abu Dhabi and founding father and President of the United Arab Emirates, Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and recognise and inspire innovators in renewable energy from around the world.
The Prius was selected from over 300 entries and was awarded the Zayed Future Energy Prize 2010 in Abu Dhabi by General Shaikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
Toyota was presented with the grand prize of $1.5 million, while two runners up — Zhengrong Shi, Founder and CEO of Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd, China and Amitabha Sadangi, CEO of International Development Enterprises India (IDEI) — were also awarded $350,000 each. All three finalists exuded the qualities associated with the Prize criteria, leadership, innovation and long-term vision, and are true ambassadors of renewable energy innovation.
The award is open to any individual, company or non-governmental organization (NGO) that can demonstrate a tangible clean energy solution.
The Zayed Future Energy Prize jury, which consisted of leading international renewable energy experts, cited Toyota Motor Corporation’s revolutionary technologies, which have set the global standard for fuel efficiency and innovation, as the key factor behind selecting Toyota as the 2010 winner. The original Prius was launched in 1997 and in the last 13 years has saved around seven million tonnes of carbon dioxide from polluting the atmosphere due to its fuel efficient technology. Toyota’s was the only entry received by the Prize which focused on hybrid vehicles, making it stand out from the other submissions due to the widespread application of its technologies globally.
The jury also cited the introduction and constant evolution of the technology as impressive elements of the entry as it demonstrated a continual desire to improve and fine-tune the technology. The Toyota Prius achieves 38 kilometres per litre, surpassing other fuel efficient vehicles and it is expected to be sold in over 80 countries around the world. The company is also looking into incorporating hybrid technologies into all its vehicles to further the cause of environmental preservation.
Commenting on the winning entry, Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Director General of the Zayed Future Energy Prize said: “The calibre of entries has been phenomenal and the jury had tough choices to make in narrowing the selection down to three finalists. The chosen finalists are recognised for their dedicated efforts towards creating a sustainable future for the world, and we are delighted to support them by providing a platform for global recognition and further innovation.”
On receiving the Prize, Kazuo Okamoto, Vice Chairman of Toyota Motor Corporation, said: “Winning this award is true recognition of the years of hard work that went into making the Toyota Prius a reality and I am honoured to receive it on behalf of Toyota Motor Corporation. I am confident that this will further increase awareness of hybrid vehicles and their environment-friendly features, thereby contributing to a sustainable future in the long run.”
All three finalists excelled when demonstrating innovation, long-term vision and leadership in addressing some of the world’s energy challenges and it is hoped that even more companies, NGOs, organisations and individuals will enter the 2011 Zayed Future Energy Prize when it opens in the spring.