Toyota Hybrids
Demystifying the Toyota Hybrid

Toyota has long been a leader in the hybrid vehicle market. Since it’s first, widely available production hybrid in 1997, over 8 million have been sold worldwide. Here at home, Canadians have bought over 100,000 Toyota hybrids. First it was the Prius but now you can choose from the Prius, Prius C and Prius V,Camry Hybrid and even SUVs like the RAV4 Hybrid and Highlander Hybrid.

Despite the widespread acceptance of hybrid technology these vehicles still remain a mystery to some. We’re here to shed some light on hybrid technology.

Hybrid vehicles have two engines, one, a traditional gas engine and the other an electric engine. This electric engine doesn’t need to be plugged the wall to charge; it is charged by the gas engine. A hybrid is capable of operating in three different modes: gas only, electric only, or a combination of both.

Getting started…literally.

Starting a hybrid vehicle is easy, press the power button and you’re ready to go. You’ll be whisked away from a stop completely under electric power. No noise, no emissions and of course, no gas.

Should your need for speed increase, the gas engine is there to offer assistance, operating jointly with the electric engine to provide full power. Any excess energy created is used to help re-charge the battery.

Take your foot off the gas and the electric motor kicks in, producing no emissions and using no gas. While this is going on the “Regenerative Braking System” starts which converts braking energy into electric energy to help re-charge the Hybrid Battery.

If you’re stuck in traffic or waiting at a red light the gas engine shuts down. This allows for you to wait it out without wasting gas or producing any emissions. Once underway again the transition back to the gas engine is seamless, just step on the gas and go. The same can be said for reversing, this is done entirely under electric power.

The range of hybrids to choose from now is excellent. From hatchbacks like the Prius, Prius C and Prius V to sedans like the Camry Hybrid and even SUVs like the RAV4 Hybrid and Highlander Hybrid, the hybrid range has something for just about anyone.