DRIVEN EXPLAINS PART 4: Driving a hybrid
Search Driven for Toyota for sale
The BEV, PHEV or HEV/Hybrid debate is handled elsewhere this issue, but for those wanting to ease into electrified motoring without the hassles of plugs or charging stations, then a hybrid is the path of least resistance (electrical pun intended).
Toyota has become a very prominent purveyor of hybrid technology since launching its Prius in 1997, and now has a range of hybrid version vehicles in Corolla, C-HR, RAV4, Highlander, Yaris, Camry, Corolla and even the Prius Prime PHEV.
The appeal of a hybrid is the ability to simply drive it like a normal car, with the motor and battery offering improved fuel efficiency, with the battery recharging through regeneration, either through braking or when travelling declines.
At light loads and low speeds, when charge allows, a hybrid reverts to its electric motor to power the vehicle, also keeping noise levels lower.
When a boost of power is called upon, for overtaking or acceleration, the hybrid system works in conjunction with the internal combustion engine to provide maximum performance, subsequently reverting to economical mode as soon as conditions allow.
The electronics of a hybrid are also constantly monitoring and changing the state of power flow between engine, motor, battery to maximise fuel economy, with a screen helpfully showing exactly what it’s doing at any time, and allowing some driver behaviour changes to potentially have a positive influence on improving economy. And with fuel prices as they are, anything to save a few dollars is always appreciated.