Frequently Asked Questions About Toyota Hybrid Vehicles

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What are the top three reasons to drive a Hybrid?

  • Help the environment. Since 2000, the Prius family of vehicles has saved an estimated 26.5 million tons of CO2 emissions in the U.S.
  • Save gas money. Over the last 14 years, the Prius family (compared to an average car) has saved Americans about $5 billion in fuel costs.
  • Save gas. Prius family owners could drive around the earth 4.39 million times with the fuel saved.

What is the estimate MPG for each New Toyota Hybrid vehicle?

Toyota has 8 Hybrid vehicles available in the Greater Milwaukee Market with the following estimated MPG on each:

*Above numbers are 2016-2017 EPA-estimated city/highway mileage. Actual mileage will vary.

**2017 Prius Prime EPA-estimate combined mpg/ MPGe. Actual mpg will vary based on driving habits, weather, temperature, and road/traffic conditions. For more information on mpg, please see www.fueleconomy.gov

Do Toyota hybrid vehicles really get better gas mileage in the city? Why?

The stop-and-go nature of city driving provides more opportunities for battery regeneration. This is why the Prius does twice as well in city driving.

What are the differences between a hybrid vehicle and electric vehicle?

A gasoline powered hybrid allows the car to use its battery for short distances, and on longer distance trips it runs like a normal car. Electric cars on the other hand run completely on electric batteries, and need to be regularly plugged in. Electric cars are measured by their electric range, which is their equivalent to miles per gallon. There are not that many electric cars on the market in Wisconsin due to lack of charging stations and other regional factors.

How much less do hybrid vehicles pollute?

One important measurement of pollution from cars is the amount of smog-forming emissions. Toyota hybrids emit 80% less emissions than the average new car.

What is the Toyota Hybrid Synergy System?

Hybrid Synergy Drive® uses sophisticated computers and a power converter/inverter to manage the flow of electrical energy in and out of the High-Voltage battery, while the ECVT/power-split device manages power flowing from the gas engine and large electric Motor/Generator (MG2) to the drive wheels. The name Hybrid Synergy Drive® refers to the dual power sources, and the system's ability to create smooth driving "synergy" between the two.

What is the Toyota Hybrid battery warranty?

A Toyota Hybrid battery has 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 beginning in 2001.

How many Toyota Hybrids has Toyota Motor Corporation Sold?

As of February 2017, Toyota Motor Corporations global sales has reached over 10 Million vehicles (including the Prius plug-in). 

What is the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050?

Toyota Motor Company wants to go beyond zero environmental impact with its Hybrid vehicles. The six challenges that it wants to achieve include:

  1. To reduce vehicle CO₂ emissions by 90 percent in comparison with 2010 levels, by 2050.
  2. To reduce to zero not simply the CO₂ emissions produced in traveling and manufacturing, but all CO₂ emissions including in the processes of materials production, and disposal and recycling of vehicles
  3. To achieve zero CO₂ emissions at our plants by developing and introducing low-CO₂ technologies with ongoing continuous improvement of working practices AND adopting renewable energy sources such as utilizing hydrogen energy.
  4. To minimize and optimize water usage
  5. To establish a recycling based society and system. To do this, they will utilize eco-friendly materials; making use of parts longer; develop technology that can be recycled, and make vehicles from the materials of end-of-life vehicles.
  6. To enrich our communities by engaging in planting trees at plants, environmental conservation activities in their surrounding area, and environmental education.

How do I get the best possible gas mileage on my Toyota Hybrid vehicle?

  • Keep your tires properly filled. As with any other vehicle – driving around with your tire pressure below Toyota’s recommended level will reduce your fuel economy.
  • Minimize sudden stops. The regenerative braking system on the Toyota hybrid recaptures energy generated when your vehicle uses its brakes. Even braking allows your Toyota to recapture more energy (providing a greater battery charge) than sudden stops. If you aren’t sure what constitutes “even braking” – check out the LCD monitor on your Toyota. Look for the arrows leading towards the battery as you brake. These arrows will let you know that you are charging the battery. Many Toyota hybrid drivers use this to adjust their braking style to be more fuel-efficient.
  • Don’t speed! The fuel efficiency of your Toyota hybrid goes down at higher speeds. Customers tell us that at speeds greater than 70 MPH, they notice a clear effect on their fuel efficiency.
  • Accelerate moderately. If you stomp on the gas pedal, 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 your 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. Run all of your errands at once. It will save you gas and save you time!
  • Use the air conditioning system only when you need it. The air conditioning system does decrease fuel economy. You can simply use the vent mode (taking air from the outside – as opposed to using the A/C system) on cooler summer days – which will help you get better gas mileage.
  • Don’t haul around unnecessary loads. You know those 80 pound bags of sand that you 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. Driving around with open windows will increase the amount of wind resistance on the vehicle.

What happens when the battery charge runs out?

The Toyota Hybrid vehicles 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 I have to take special steps to protect the battery of my hybrid vehicle if I plan to store the vehicle for an extended period?

To prevent excessive auxiliary battery drainage, charge the battery at least once every two weeks by powering on the hybrid system for 20 minutes with all non-essential electrical accessories (such as air conditioning and audio equipment) turned off. It is not necessary to drive the vehicle, but do not start the hybrid system in an enclosed area unless the tail pipe is connected to an exhaust hose to prevent harmful buildup of fumes. As an alternative, you may disconnect the negative terminal of the auxiliary battery.

For the hybrid vehicle battery, charge the battery at least once every two months by starting the hybrid system for about 30 minutes*. Check that the "ready" light is on and all lights and electrical accessories are off. As with the auxiliary battery charging, it is not necessary to drive the vehicle, but the steps to prevent exhaust buildup must be taken.

*If the auxiliary battery was disconnected, it will have to be reconnected before the hybrid system is started.

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