Repurposed Toyota Camry Battery Packs Power Lamar Buffalo Ranch at Yellowstone

We at Route 44 Toyota are dedicated to sustainable energy – and for many of our patrons, the allure of a hybrid not only stems from cleaner driving, but also the appeal of better fuel economy.

Toyota Camry battery packsBut some may be wondering what happens when the battery comes to the end of its automotive life – and where does it go from there? Great question! Even when battery packs are no longer deemed useful for the cars they were made for, as the energy-storage capacity dwindles over time, they can still serve an alternate purpose.

Recently, the Lamar Buffalo Ranch field campus within Yellowstone has implemented an alternate energy system of 208 nickel-metal-hydride battery packs from used Toyota Camry hybrids. With 85 kilowatt-hours of storage capacity, the Toyota Camry battery packs store the energy generated from solar panels powering the ranch’s five buildings, which is enough electricity annually to power six average U.S. households, according to Toyota.

We at Route 44 Toyota are proud to be part of a company dedicated to sustainable and renewable energy. And while we can’t help you build your own power system out of used battery packs, we can definitely offer you the finest, most efficient fleet of hybrid vehicles! So be sure to come visit us, today!

It’s a “Pimped Out” Dad Van Fit for an Entourage – The Mark Wahlberg Toyota Sienna

Turns out one of Boston’s favorite sons has one of the coolest dad-vans around!

Called the “mint mobile” by his kids, due to the plethora of Life Savers always supplied, Mark Wahlberg recently, and proudly, revealed on the Ellen DeGeneres Show that he has “pimped out” his Toyota Sienna minivan!

Mark Wahlberg Toyota Sienna“I like my car because it’s very unassuming,” says Wahlberg, “It’s got rims on it. Direct TV. Tinted windows. My kids love it!” And after seeing its picture, Ellen agrees, “That’s a nice lookin’ minivan!”

Termed the “Original Swagger Wagon” by the Japanese Auto maker, the 2015 Toyota Sienna features a stylish interior with a wraparound dashboard design, seating for eight passengers, ample storage capacity/versatility, and a 3.5-liter V6 engine ready to take you where you want to go!

The Hollywood star also appreciates the reclining seats so he can relax while being driven home from the airport – but not too many people get the privilege of driving the decked out van, as it’s his “new baby.”

If you too are in the market for a Mark Wahlberg Toyota Sienna – like van for your own entourage, be sure to come visit us at Route 44 Toyota, today!

Toyota Sienna Takes Best in Class Minivan Award at NEMPA

The original swagger wagon has been collecting awards and accolades since the 2015 model was introduced. The latest award the 2015 Toyota Sienna claimed was at the New England Motor Press Association, NEMPA, for Best in Class Minivan! The technology conference was organized by NEMPA and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

2015 Toyota Sienna - Best in Class Minivan AwardThis isn’t the first award for Toyota to walk away with from NEMPA. In the past Toyota has taken home the Wheels TV Previously Owned Vehicle Award for the RAV4 in 2006-2012. The RAV4 is the sporty and comfortable SUV from Toyota and is still a leader in the compact crossover segment.

This year at the technology conference there was a heavier focus on green vehicle technology and they even had a panel of experts who examined fuel economy, innovation in green vehicles technologies and emissions reduction to name a few. Director of Energy & Environmental Research at Toyota Manufacturing North America, Robert Wimmer, discussed details about the hydrogen fuel cell technology from Toyota.

The recently redesigned Sienna has a more stylish interior with a more comfortable and entertaining cockpit area. It has up to 150 cubic feet of cargo space making it easy for all of your storage needs. With its new intelligent infotainment system you’ll be able to enjoy the available Entune App Suite and your favorite apps to help you stay connected while you’re on the road. The 2015 Sienna is the only minivan to offer all-wheel drive in its class. It has an EPA-estimated 18/25 mpg (city/highway) allowing you to go longer between your trips to the gas station.

Here at Route 44 Toyota, we love the swagger wagon and think that the 2015 Sienna makes a great family vehicle. Interested in more information on the 2015 Toyota Sienna? Visit our website for more details. We’re glad the Sienna took Best in Class Minivan at the NEMPA Technology Conference right here in our home state!

Getting the Most Out of Your Summer: Road Trip Tips

For some, warmer weather means more road trips. That’s why we’ve put together a list of road trip tips to help you get the most out of any long-distance excursions you might be planning this summer.

Summer Road Trip TipsThe most important thing to do before you go is make a checklist. According to the Travel Channel, you should secure a reliable cell phone (in addition to the one you may already have), get your vehicle serviced, and check your spare tire. By having doing an overall checkup and staying prepared, you’ll avoid ending your trip early.

Adding up fuel mileage is also important, as this is one of the major costs for your road trip. By filling up your car, resetting the odometer, and then recording how many gallons you’ve used when you fill up next, you can calculate your actual fuel mileage. Simply divide the miles by the gallons of gas, and that’s your vehicle’s mpg. By taking the average from multiple calculations, you’ll get a more accurate readout.

Though this may be a given for most, make sure to bring something to keep the kids entertained. Nothing drains the life out of a road trip like unhappy travelers. Bring games, snacks, and plenty of music for the trip.

Last but not least, pack light. Fewer bags mean more space, plain and simple. By following these tips, you’re bound to have a great road trip.

Let’s Go Places: Our Favorite Attractions in Plymouth, MA

Now that spring is upon us, we thought we’d share our favorite local attractions for getting out of the house, and discovering all Plymouth has to offer. Here are some of our favorite top-rated attractions in Plymouth, MA.

Let's Go Places - Attractions in Plymouth, MA

“Court Street Plymouth MA” by Raime

Jenney Museum. The Jenney Museum offers a peek into our country’s first years. Stories of how the pilgrims lived, who they were, and their beliefs and motivations are captivating. A number of tours offer an in-depth look at life in the 17th century. All tours require advance reservations.

Plimoth Plantation. This plantation recreates the Wampanoag settlement and Plimoth Village, allowing visitors to see how life was lived at the time of the pilgrims. Actors dressed as the individuals from that time period share stories and answer questions, bringing history to life. Also check out the craft center, rare breed animals, and Mayflower II.

Whale Watching and Deep Sea Fishing. Head out to sea with Captain John for an experience you won’t forget. The knowledgeable and accommodating staff ensures a positive experience for everyone on board, finding the very best spots for whale watching or deep sea fishing, depending on your tour.

Here at Route 44 Toyota, we have an exciting selection of vehicles to get you where you’re going this spring. Stop by today to find the right fit for your family and Let’s Go Places this summer!

Go Green with a New Toyota Hybrid

Toyota has been a leader and innovator when it comes to hybrid technology and building environmentally friendly vehicles. Now with 8 hybrid models, the extensive selection allows you to get exactly what you’re looking for. There’s never been a better time to go green with a new Toyota hybrid!

New Toyota HybridIf you want to stay in the car realm, you have a choice between the Prius, Prius c, Prius v, Prius Plug-in, Camry and Avalon! The Prius was Toyota’s first major hybrid milestone and continues to get better and better ever year. The Prius c offers the highest city mpg of any vehicle without a plug with an EPA-estimated 53 mpg rating. The Camry and Avalon offer a little more space and power with great mpg ratings as well!

SUV lovers don’t worry, there’s a hybrid for you as well! Take your pick between the Highlander or RAV4, which was just recently announced. The Highlander offers all the space and power you want from a traditional SUV but not the gas guzzling. It gets an EPA-estimated 27 mpg city and 28 mpg highway. The RAV4 won’t be available until later this year, but it too offers excellent fuel economy as well as all wheel drive.

Purchasing a hybrid allows you to reduce your own carbon footprint and do something great for the environment, while getting the new car perks you desire. Not to mention, the savings over time really add up when you’re not purchasing gas every other day! Come visit us at Route 44 Toyota for more information about going green with a new hybrid!

Toyota March Sales: Automaker Dominating Market

Toyota took American-based automakers Ford and General Motors to the cleaners last month. This is the first time since 2009 that Toyota was within arm’s length of taking the top two North American automakers down. In all, Toyota March sales rose nearly 5% compared to last year.

General Motors and Ford both saw a decline in sales compared to last year. Overall, General Motors is lagging behind with a 2.4% decline while Ford is worse off, dropping 3.4%. This doesn’t seem to be effecting predications that the auto market will move 17 million vehicles in 2015 though.

Toyota March SalesInterestingly, Toyota isn’t the only foreign automaker to see an increase in sales during March on American ground. Hyundai, Audi, and Kia all saw their sales improve as well. Still, they all pale in comparison to Toyota’s nearly 226,000 units sold in March.

As the largest global automaker, Toyota gaining traction in the United States is no surprise. The surprise is that the foreign automaker is beating out Ford and General Motors on their own turf. Sales were brought home by a 12% rise in the truck and SUV segments. Another surprise, as Toyota is more well-known for its cars.

Here at Route 44 Toyota we are ecstatic that Toyota is taking over the top spot from the North American automakers! Thanks to all of our great customers who have helped take Toyota to the top of the leader board!

What other surprises will Toyota have in store of us this year?

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Distracted Driving AwarenessWith the technology we have it can be tough to not get distracted when you’re behind the wheel of a car. April is Distracted Driving Awareness month and we want to give you some tips and tricks to use to help prevent you from getting distracted while driving.

  1. Use Your Cell Phone for Emergencies Only – Don’t use a cell phone, handheld or hands-free, while you’re driving unless it is an absolute emergency. Texting, talking, checking emails or playing games on your cell phone are extremely dangerous while you’re driving. If you absolutely need to make a call, pull over to the side of the road to be safe.
  2. Don’t Drive if You’re Drowsy – If you’re drowsy and driving it increases the risk of a crash by almost four times. If you feel tired, pull over and get off of the road. Do not try to get home faster as you could easily nod off.
  3. Limit the Number of Passengers – Limiting the number of passengers in the car can help keep you focused on driving and not what’s going on around you. If you’re a teen driver, or your child is, limit the amount of activity that is going on in the car. Driving with friends is very dangerous especially for new drivers.
  4. Avoid Eating While Driving – Everyone is busy but eating in your car while driving can be a big distraction. If you eat while you drive you are less attentive to the road and the drivers around you. If you spill your food that can cause you to jerk the car and hit someone else or run off of the road.
  5. Multi-Task Outside of the Car – Everyone spends a lot of time in their vehicle but multi-tasking while driving is never a good option. Whether it’s calling friends, looking for good music or even texting, it can wait until you’re not driving.

Here at Route 44 Toyota we understand the dangers of driving distracted. Stay focused when you drive and make sure to share these distracted driving tips with your family and friends to help them realize the dangers of distracted driving.

Toyota Earns Spot as New Olympic Games’ Sponsor

Toyota has earned a top spot on the podium. The Japanese carmaker recently announced that it is now a member of The Olympic Partner (TOP) program, making the carmaker the new Olympic Games’ sponsor. This new sponsorship will put Toyota in charge of the Games’ mobility services, including vehicles and mobile solutions, giving the Japanese carmaker the perfect platform to show off its new fuel cell technology.

Toyota Fuel Cell - new Olympic Games' Sponsor“We will do everything possible to fulfill our new role in The Olympic Partner program, and justify the trust the IOC has placed in use, “said Toyota president Akio Toyoda. “The addition of a mobility category to the TOP Partner field is an important recognition of our entire industry. Under this Olympic flag, let us today reaffirm the power of sports to bring people together. And let us dedicate ourselves to creating a better world by promoting sports in the Olympic spirit of friendship, solidarity, and fair play.”

Toyota’s position as the newest Olympic Games’ sponsor will begin in 2017 after the 2016 Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro and will last until 2024. If you are interested in seeing why Toyota has been chosen as the automaker of the Olympic Games, stop in to Route 44 Toyota today!

Let’s Go Places – Providence, RI

The New England area has a lot of history and a lot of interesting places you can visit. One place that isn’t far is Providence, RI. Providence has a lot of things you can do in a day or make a weekend stay out of it. Some ideas of places or things to do during your trip to Providence are below!

WaterFire – WaterFire Providence is a very popular and public event where thousands of residents and visitors come together in downtown Providence to enjoy an evening out with art. The award-winning sculpture is installed on three rivers of downtown Providence. It has over eighty sparkling bonfires that give off an aromatic wood smoke scent to get all of your senses engaged. Check their website for their lighting events this year!

Roger Williams Zoo – Roger Williams Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in our nation. It opened in 1872 and has been an integral part of New England’s history and heritage ever since. It’s located inside the historical and beautiful Roger Williams Park and is home to over 100 species of animals from all over the world. Make sure you leave plenty of time to see all of the wonderful exhibits at Roger Williams Zoo and plan your visit online!

Providence Performing Arts Center - Providence, RIProvidence Performing Arts Center – The Providence Performing Arts Center is the place to go when you’re looking for a great night out in Providence! They have a variety of shows, comedians and other events that go on. Check out their calendar of events to see the different shows they have during your visit.

Those are just a few of the great things that you can do while you visit Providence, RI. For more information about things you can do in Providence, click here. Before you take off on any spring or summer adventure, make sure you get your Toyota tuned up with our service department. Remember, Route 44 Toyota means more!