2021/03/26 | Technology
Key Facts on Hybrids and Plug-in Hybrids
When looking at Toyota's product lineup, you'll find many hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles. The journey that began with the Prius (Japan in 1997 and North America in 2000) has become a great automotive success story.
As 2021 progresses, Toyota is about to introduce its first electric vehicle in China, at the Shanghai Motor Show. We'll be adding this model to the family in the near future. In the meantime, we're enjoying the hybrid in all its forms.
Manic Toyota, your dealer in Baie-Comeau on the Côte-Nord, has a vast inventory of new and used vehicles that meet your needs with the best Toyota financing rates – it’s an opportunity not to be missed. Today, we're taking the time to examine how hybrid technology is being deployed and which vehicles are making the best of it.
When we say hybrid-powered model, we mean a vehicle that runs on the combined power of a combustion engine and an electric motor, backed by a battery.
The combustion engine in a hybrid vehicle works exactly like the engine in a gasoline car. Fuel is injected through the combustion chamber into the engine, where it is combined with air. Finally, the air/fuel mixture is ignited by the spark plug, creating power for the vehicle.
The main difference with a hybrid vehicle is that in addition to an internal combustion engine, the vehicle also has an electric motor and a battery as a power source. Hybrid technology optimizes the vehicle's systems to use a combination of electric power and gasoline while driving. So, depending on which mode you're in, you can use significantly less fuel and spend less money on gas.
There are several models with this technology across the lineup. There's the Toyota Prius, of course, but it's no longer the only one. The Toyota Corolla are hybrids, as are the Toyota Camry, the Toyota Highlander and the Toyota RAV4. Moreover, this year, two new models have been made hybrids, namely the Toyota Sienna van and the Toyota Venza SUV.
Plug-in Hybrid Technology
Plug-in hybrid technology is essentially the same combination of combustion engine and electric motor, but the latter are more powerful and allow for an all-electric range.
Currently, two Toyota models are built upon this concept: the Toyota Prius Prime with an electric range of 40 kilometres and the RAV4 Prime with an autonomy of 68 kilometres.
This is of course based on a full charge, that you can get at home, either on a 120-volt outlet or on a level 2, 240-volt outlet. In the latter case, it only takes two hours to get a full charge.
No gas is consumed when driving in electric mode. Once the electrical energy is spent, the combustion engine kicks into gear. However, the electric mode isn't out of service. With regenerative braking, and features that allow the car to recover energy while driving, you can regain a few kilometres of freedom. And thanks to the various driving modes, you can decide to keep them and use them later.
In fact, you can switch from electric to gasoline propulsion at any time. But why do this? On the highway, for example, more electric energy is consumed than in the city, where braking allows the car to constantly recover energy. It’s therefore preferable to drive with the gasoline engine (which consumes less energy on the highway than in the city) in order to save the electric energy for city driving. In short, Toyota gives you the option to manage electric driving as you see fit.
And the best part is that in recent years, Toyota has added four-wheel drive with its hybrid models. How they do it is simple: by placing an electric motor on the rear axle, it takes over when the electronics detect front wheel slippage. You reap all the benefits of all-wheel drive without its main downfall, which is increased fuel consumption.
Want to know more? Visit your Manic Toyota dealer in Baie-Comeau on the Côte-Nord today.