Hybrid Info Center
We are excited and knowledgeable about Toyota's Hybrid technology which is available on the Prius, Camry Hybrid and Highlander Hybrid. Several of our employees are Prius owners. Want to learn more?
Hybrid vehicles are everywhere, but there are still a lot of misconceptions about these vehicles. We have Toyota-Certified consultants who are experts on Hybrid vehicles - ready to help you determine if a Hybrid vehicle is right for you. Whether you are interested in a Toyota Prius, a Camry Hybrid or a Highlander Hybrid - we are here to help.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of reliability can I expect from the hybrid battery?
The Toyota Synergy Hybrid System (including the battery) comes with an 8 year / 100,000 miles warranty.
When did Toyota start making hybrid vehicles?
Toyota began selling the first-generation Prius in Japan in 1997, with worldwide sales begining in 2001.
How many Toyota Hybrids are on the road?
Over 4 million vehicles using Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive (including Lexus) have been sold worldwide.
I know that the hybrid vehicles get great gas mileage - but how much less do they pollute?
One important measurement of pollution from cars is the amount of smog-forming emissions. Toyota hybrids emit 80% less of these than the average new car.
What happens when the battery charge runs out?
The Prius actually has two batteries. A standard lead-acid battery for starting the car, as well as the hybrid battery which helps power the car. When the hybrid battery's charge is depleted, the car simply runs off of gas while the battery is recharged. The lead-acid battery starts the car - so running the hybrid battery down will not prevent you from being able to start your car.
Do Toyota hybrid vehicles really get better gas mileage in the city? Why?
The stop-and-go nature of city driving provide more opportunities for battery regeneration. This is why the Prius does twice as good in city driving as many other passenger vehicles.
Why does the Prius have such a unique look?
The Toyota Prius was the first mass-produced vehicle engineered from the ground-up to be a hybrid vehicle. Lines on the body are designed to maximize fuel economy. The Prius has the lowest drag coefficient of *any* mass-produced car in America.
Did you know that the new 2014 Prius makes use of Eco-Plastics? These plastics are made from natural materials - and represent the future of environmentally friendly plastics.
Improve Your Gas Mileage
Customers who buy the Toyota Prius and other Toyota Hybrid Vehicles generally do so because they’d like to experience better fuel economy. As with any other car – how you drive a Toyota hybrid will greatly affect what your fuel efficiency is. Here are some suggestions that we’d like to share to help you make your gas go further when you’re cruising the streets of Milwaukee.
Fuel Economy Tips -
- Keep your tires properly filled. As with any other vehicle – driving around with your tire pressue below Toyota’s recommended level will reduce your fuel economy.
- Minimize sudden stops. The regenerative braking system on the Toyota Prius recaptures energy generated when your vehicle uses its brakes (stops). Even braking allows your Prius to recapture more energy (providing a greater battery charge) than sudden stops. If you aren’t sure what cosntitutes “even braking” – check out the LCD monitor on your Prius. Look for the arrows leading towards the battery as you brake. This arrows are feeback – and let you know that you are charging the battery. Many Prius drivers use this feedback to adjust their braking style to a more fuel efficient one.
- Don’t speed! The fuel efficiency of your Prius goes down at higher speeds. Customers tell us (we wouldn’t know because we only drive the legal speed limit) that at speeds greater than 70 MPH they notice a clear affect on their fuel efficiency.
- Accelerate moderately. If you stomp on the gas pedal as hard as you can, generally, the gas engine will be responsible for helping you accelerate. If you accelerate evenly and moderately, the electric motor will often be able to assist in the acceleration – saving you fuel economy.
- Drive longer. Like any other car, your gasoline engine requires more gas to “warm up”. Once the engine is warmed up, it consumes less gas. Some Prius owners who want the very best gas mileage will link trips. Run all of your errands at once. It will save you gas and save you time!
- Use Air Conditioning system only when you need it. The air conditioning system does decrease fuel economy. We love Milwaukee’s mild summers and so does the Toyota Prius. You can simply use the vent mode (taking air from the outside – as opposed to using the AC system) on cooler summer days – which will help you get better gas mileage.
- Don’t haul around uneccessary loads. You know those 80 pound bags of sand that your said you should put in the back of your car to help you in the winter? They don’t help you. At all. Your car is front wheel drive and has great safety features. Ditch the dead weight!
- Keep your windows closed. The unique shape of the Prius isn’t just to make it look unique. The Prius has the lowest drag-coefficient of any production vehicle ever made. The unique shape of the Prius minimizes wind resistance. Driving around with open windows will increase the amound of wind resistance on the vehicle.
Smart Key System
As Smart Key is becoming available on an increasing number of Toyota vehicles, we’ve found that a lot of car shoppers in Milwaukee aren’t certain about what it means when they read that a particular vehicle is equipped with “Smart Key”. Below is a list of answers to frequently asked questions about the Smart Key system.
What is Smart Key?
Smart Key is a system that will unlock the doors, as well as start the engine (via push button start), without the driver touching their key.
If I don’t put a key in, how will I start my car? Smart Key equipped-vehicles include Push Button Start. As long as the key fob is located inside of the vehicle (in your pocket, purse, bag or briefcase) – you can simply put your foot on the brake and press the “Start” button. The engine will start!
How does the car know it should unlock itself for me?
The car will *only* unlock itself for you if you are outside of the vehicle with the key fob (in your pocket, purse, bag, etc.) *AND* you put your hand into the Smart Key door handle. The back side of Smart Key door handles have heat sensitive material. Once they feel your hand inside of them and recognize that the key fob is nearby, the car will unlock itself for you.
So where do I put the key fob?
Wherever you want! The idea of Smart Key is that you can unlock the car, get in, turn on the ignition, drive, turn the car off and lock out without taking your keys out of your pocket.
And how do I lock the car?
Easy! You just press a button on the outside of the door as you are walking away from your vehicle. The car will then lock itself.
I bet I’ll get confused and lock myself out. Then what?
Smart Key is *very* smart. If you try and lock your vehicle with the fob inside, the vehicle will beep at you continuously, letting you know that your key fob is in the car, and it will not let you lock yourself out.
This system is an electrical system. What happens if I have a power failure in my car – how will I be able to open it?
Each Smart Key fob has a key blade enclosed inside of it that will open the driver’s side door, allowing you to get into the vehicle in an emergency.
I don’t trust new technology. How can I trust Smart Key?
Smart Key technology has been used by Toyota and Lexus on many vehicles for over 6 years. This is proven technology with a great track-record of reliability.
This sounds pretty cool. What Toyota vehicles is Smart Key available on?
On some trim levels – Smart Key is available on:
Camry, Camry Hybrid, Venza, Avalon, Sienna, Sequoia, Rav-4, 4Runner, Highlander and Land Cruiser. Smart Key is standard on all Priuses.