Brunei Darussalam


March 5, 2011 update | Lexus CT 200h: The World’s First Full Hybrid Luxury Compact Car


Is blue the new green? That’s the first thing I noticed when I reached Jerudong Park Polo & Riding Club for the official launching of Brunei’s first ‘green car’ the TOYOTA PRIUS. With a green theme shrouding the event, I wondered why Toyota had chosen the colour blue for its green vehicles and it appears not once but three places I looked (logo rim, gear knob and next to HYBRID label).

Apparently, Prius is a Latin word meaning “to go before” and Toyota chose this name because the Prius vehicle is positioned to be “the predecessor of cars to come”. Rapid population growth and economic development in recent decades have resulted in a sharp increase in fossil fuel consumption on a global scale. Faced with the challenge to create an earth-friendly vehicle, Toyota has produced the world’s first mass produced hybrid automobile and NBT TOYOTA introduced the first brand of hybrid (in its third generation) vehicle to Brunei Darussalam.


Other than questions regarding  its rather hefty price tag of B$58,400*, I’m pretty sure you have some burning questions regarding how the “the most advanced hybrid powertrain” system works on the road. The Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD) provides dual power sources by combining the advantages of a nickel-metal hydride battery, an electric motor and a petrol engine. From starting off to low/mid speed, only electricity from the battery drives the motor to reach “full power instantly.” Driving conditions are monitored and an intelligent ECU controls engine and motor for optimum fuel efficiency. During hard acceleration however, power from the battery supplements power produced by the petrol engine to enhance overall driving power. During decelerating and braking, the motor is activated as a generator to convert kinetic energy into electricity that recharges the battery. When the car is at a complete stop, the petro engine shuts down and is on powered by electricity energy from the battery, thereby reducing fuel consumption and harmful emissions. Sounds like a blueprint for the future vehicles for the environmental conscious public. *correct at time of this post.

[R]educe [N]ow [B]runei [D]arussalam

Because the Prius starts off in full electricity mode, the car is incredibly silent and you could literally have one brush right past you and you wouldn’t realise it—talk about an automobile for covert operations—imagine if this also came with stealth features you could effectively speed and is naked to the current generation of radar guns! Food for thought!


And just in case you’re wondering if the Prius has a radiator, it does. I was unable to locate the usual overflow coolant container but the pink liquid you see below is the coolant for the inverter unit which I imagine should be fairly costly to replace in the event of failure.


At the launch, Japanese Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Hirose Noriki said Brunei could lead the way in the Asean region in promoting the “green” initiative. “I think Brunei is a good country to set an example to Asean countries in ‘greening’ the country (with the introduction of the green car),” he said. The ambassador added that if Bruneians opted to switch to green cars, it would be able to reduce the domestic consumption of petrol. “When that happens, the extra petrol can be exported to increase the country’s revenue. It can even help the government in reducing subsidy to petroleum,” he said, adding Brunei could “double benefit” from using “green cars”. — Brunei Times

NBT Brunei Sdn Bhd’s Managing Director Ninan Chacko said, “This (launching of the hybrid car) is a small, but significant step to ensure that the Green Heart of Borneo will continue to be enjoyed in the future. We must adopt a long term view, even though there is currently no official compulsion to do so. We believe that as a responsible 21st century green motor company which is ISO 14001 (Environment Management System) certified, we have a moral obligation to contribute to a greener, cleaner and brighter Brunei Darussalam.”


Ninan Chacko (L), NBT Managing Director presents the mock key to the Toyota Prius fleet to Tareq Mahmood, HSBC CEO (R) as Pg Hj Ahmad Pg Jaya Negara Pg Hj Abdul Rahman (C), Director, Jasra Car Rental Sdn Bhd looks on.


A representative of NBT gesturing to Guest of Honour the digital dashboard while Japanese Ambassador Hirose Noriki  and Japanese Embassy First Secretary, Hiroshi Okouchi (right) look on.


HSBC (B) Sdn Bhd yesterday purchased 13 units of Toyota Prius in a bid to reaffirm its commitment to environment protection. Tareq Muhmood, chief executive officer of HSBC, said, “The cars will be used by the managers, or if we have visitors, then the cars will be used.” The bank normally has 13 to 15 vehicles which are now old and will be replaced by the Prius. “It is time to put our actions to where our words are, so we would like to encourage our customers to do the same,” he said, adding that the bank has introduced the lowest ever rates for car financing for anyone who wants to buy the Prius. — Brunei Times



Minister of Energy Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Dewa Major General (Rtd) Dato Seri Pahlawan Hj Mohd Hj Daud was present as guest of honour to officiate the launching of Toyota’s hybrid car, Toyota Prius, held at the Jerudong Polo and Riding Club.


Pehin Hj Mohd told The Brunei Times cars in the Sultanate were the biggest emitter of carbon into the atmosphere contributing 53 per cent of carbon gas emission. However, the launch of the Brunei’s first “green” car could be the light at the end of the tunnel. Pehin Dato Hj Mohd said: “I hope that the green car(s) would help reduce carbon emissions and also help (fight) climate change.” — Brunei Times


“Let me emphasise here, we are doing this, not for ourselves, but for our future generations”


One of many reasons to smile about, the team at NBT TOYOTA Brunei Darussalam are on the road to a greener Brunei Darussalam.


About NBT Toyota Sdn Bhd
NBT, the sole distributor of Toyota vehicles in Brunei, led the market with 3,717 passenger and commercial vehicles sold. It dominated the automobile market with a 30 per cent market share. In December, the Toyota distributor sold 142 units of top seller Toyota Vios, outselling all other car distributors.

18 thoughts on “ROAD TO A GREENER BRUNEI

  1. The weather leading up to the day of the launch had been absolutely awful with many parts of the country hard hit by floods. I got up at 5.45 am to drizzling darkness, grabbed a bite and coffee and left the house by 6.28 am a lot earlier than I would have normally done so. I’m grateful for the better-than-yesterday weather although I ended up battling heavy condensation as a consequence of the 6 water fountains that humidified the venue. I brought everything which I needed for work except for a much towel—I was sweating bucket loads (a usual phenomenon for me) which guests might have thought I had just walked in from the rain.


    1. In light of the modern day innovation, at times, I see new inventions that caters less on notions of saving for rainy days is equatable to the proverb of having enough to bite, but lack Time application practice, Like “Hidup Bermasa” to the less learned.To me, anything that could attract Brunei aotomobil inustries is having its own made car.I guess , it is time that Brunei and Japanese government could undertake a joint venture colleqium into producing the first Brunei made cars.Exports markets could be of reach as Brunei are in many trade blocks , such as Commonwealth.Maybe Japan could join the Time by being emplaced a solitude of courtship in venturing into a more dynamic Islamic Banking package m which could benefit both countries is what I sees as continuity is more Compassionate rather than stagnancy. Abdul Aziz Ali | Sarawak | CMI (UK)


  2. What a good initiative towards a greener environment. Let’s just hope this ride can successfully act as a stepping stone for the many other greener cars to come! One of the many ways to combat climate change~! I really like it =D! Nicely taken Jan!!


    1. Let’s just hope this ride can successfully act as a stepping stone for the many other greener cars to come!

      A quick Google and you’ll see the number of Asian auto manufacturers have a hybrid alternative in their line up including Honda and Hyundai.


    1. The cost of the car is $58 400. A normal car would cost about $20 000. Taking simple ‘return of investment’ approach, dividing the difference of cost with the savings per year, what we end up is a 44 year ‘return of investment’ period … It means to get your money’s worth of savings, you need to drive that car for 44 years up and down the coast of Brunei nearly everyday. I’d say it’ll be a pretty good car if it lasts 44 years running up and down.

      What we have here is the beginning of more green initiatives to come. I expected that at the beginning of a steep learning or acceptance curve, costs of R&D, manufacturing, marketing, political campaigning, post sales support for low volume consumption (in spite of the Prius being its third generation) are going to be very high. The SEGWAY is a good example where costs are prohibitive to own for personal use and practicality of its use in our environment is even more limited to whatever good pavements available.

      Staggering price tag aside, the Hybrid approach makes more practical sense compared to automobiles that run entirely on electricity. Such concepts require significant infrastructure investments to set up “charge points” throughout the country to accommodate ownership of such green cars.

      The Prius on the other hand negates such cumbersome investments and blend in socially without being alienated as “greenies” (the combination of “alienating” and green is purely coincidental). I too hope HSBC’s initiative is going to pave the way for more Prius (and manufacturers of other similar automobiles) ownerships in Brunei—without mass consumption, the acceptance curve will remain steep and a greener future remains distant. It’s also true that government subsidies will help incentivize acceptance thus ownerships.


      1. Jan, my dad thinking to let go the only nissan in the toyota family down the garage and get a 4 wheeler. I could use this to persuade him to get a prius instead. Who knows?! 😀 a combined action.


      2. Yup, I agree that it’s an initiative. However, what i was illustrating is that there is a lot more to do about the ‘environmental scenario’ on top of bringing in an expensive hybrid car that is affordable largely by banks that are trying to show corporate responsibility.

        And on second thought, subsidies by government for vehicles is going to be tricky. It doesn’t solve the problem, it makes people buy more cars. I would rather have less fuel subsidies, then people drive less. Of course lots of more issues to be debated..

        But there must be some way of restructuring how the economy works such that helping the environment isn’t something that is troublesome, expensive and off limits.


  3. It doesn’t solve the problem, it makes people buy more cars. I would rather have less fuel subsidies, then people drive less. Of course lots of more issues to be debated..

    Less subsidies just turns people to bank loans though the latter is much debated recently—which is the lesser of two evils? People aren’t going to drive less, if anything people will continue to maintain their innate spending habits and drive themselves to the ground. It’s human nature. Isn’t it ironic that the world’s problems that are created by humans have grown to such epic proportions that humans can no longer manage them? It scares me.

    FWIW, people who know me well know how much the commute between Belait and Bandar Seri Begawan stresses me out. As a result of the commutes that have haunted me since I joined the rat race in 1991 and more so in the last 5 years as a photographer, I find every reason to not drive and sometimes although rarely so, I turn down jobs for that simple reason. The public transport infrastructure we have today does not adequately support any “green” movement or campaign we may have going on—the purple bus service does not take me from my house to where my work takes me to in parts of BSB. I think 2010 calls for a Plan B !

    Why not relocate, I hear you asking? No, that’s not a subject open to debate either.


    1. Having subsidies will just be a short term solution, isn’t it? The landscape isn’t going to change.

      On the other hand, they don’t necessarily have to turn to bank loans. The subsidies can be used to build the public transport needed – and make them cheap. When public transport is cheaper than driving around in your own car, then things will start changing. Only thenwill people start car-pooling, using bikes, walking to nearby supermarkets, etc.


      1. Regardless of short or long term, dependency on subsidiaries is never a viable solution and the one thing I’ve learnt concerning dependency is that it breeds further dependency making the much needed independence that much more difficult to realize. It is every parent’s hope and wish to see their child independent and the same applies to any government. However, I cannot help but think of our rice subsidy when you mentioned subsidies. All these years of consuming subsidized “fragrant” rice bulk imported from Thailand, many of us probably do not appreciate what His Majesty’s government has done for us and it is the realization of the this dependency on another country to supply our staple food that led to the birth of “Laila” in 2009.

        You do know the concept of car-pooling, using bikes and wow, WALKING, to nearby supermarkets have been ineffective? But regardless, I like the idea of good public transport infrastructure. After driving for a couple of decades, I want out … but want doesn’t translate to get unfortunately. I walk as much as I can when I head to town and park at whatever parking spot is available to me—in most cases it’s post-paid parking at METRO for practical reasons.


        1. It’s not the fact of making public transport cheap since it’s already cheap in Brunei to be fair. It’s the inconvenience and the irregularity of public transport in Brunei coupled in with our culture of parking as close as possible to our destinations and the tab00 of thinking that it’s degrading to our social status. You probably won’t see much people using public transport as long as these problems are still lingering strongly


  4. Prius is the best seller in 2009, Prius is one of icon sedan type from hybrid technologi. now hybrid tech will be come popular.

    A view type of hybrid vehicle is Hybrid Electric Vehicle Types, Hybrid diesel-electric motorcycles have been created having a top speed of around 800 mph with a very affordable retail price of $500. Several known automobile manufacturers have also joined the bandwagon like Honda, Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Nissan and Toyota. These big names are currently innovating to continuously provide well-performing hybrid electric with all the advantages.


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