What are you really buying? Toyota Hybrid technology explained
Owning a hybrid gasoline-electric vehicle sounds great. Most people understand that Toyota hybrid cars and SUV’s offer the best of both gasoline-powered and electric-powered technology in an eco-friendly and easy to drive package. However, many South-Dade Toyota customers have questions about what they are really buying when they drive a hybrid off of the car lot.
Under the hood
Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive System technology offers a quiet ride at low speeds. With both a gas and electric engine under the hood, the vehicle seamlessly switches between the two engines depending on driving conditions. This offers the gasoline power needed during accelerations and highway driving and all of the advantages of an electric car during slower driving. A nickel-metal Hydride battery stores excess energy generated by the engine which powers the vehicle in low-speed range. Toyota’s innovative Power Control Unit has a Voltage-Boosting Converter which increases the 201.6V DC voltage up to as much as 650 V. This current boost allows a low current to support a high output, increasing the overall efficiency of the vehicle.
Driving at low speeds
Starting the vehicle and driving a low speed is a pleasure in a Toyota Hybrid. Using only the electric motor and battery power to deliver high torque in a low rpm range, these cars are responsive and quiet. In some cases, the battery may not offer enough charge to continue driving at low speeds, in which case the gasoline-powered engine takes over. This transition is completely seamless.
Driving at full acceleration and high speeds
Toyota Hybrid vehicles combine the power of the gasoline engine with the efficiency of the electric engine when climbing a steep slope or overtaking during passing to provide performance comparable to vehicles with one size larger engines.
In order to charge the battery, excess power is diverted to the generator and converted to electric energy. This is just one of the ways that Toyota conserves energy for later use. When the driver lifts the vehicle’s accelerator, the wheels turn the electric motor, turning them into generators. This energy is converted and stored in the battery for normal use instead of being lost as friction heat.
The Best of Both Worlds
Owning a hybrid vehicle offers the driver the best of both worlds. Enjoy the power of a gasoline engine when needed, and take advantage of the eco-friendly and quiet electric motor at the same time. Even at rest, these engines are creating and storing energy for later use. There’s no energy loss during idling.
Toyota Hybrid vehicles include the sporty and compact Prius II, Prius c, and the spacious Prius v. The Toyota Camry Hybrid and the Avalon Hybrid are highly sought after sedan options, and for a sporty and roomy SUV, check out the award winning Toyota Highlander Hybrid.
To really understand the pleasure and power of driving a Toyota hybrid vehicle, stop by South Dade Toyota or contact us to schedule a test drive today.