Toyota Hybrid & EV Guide
Toyota has always been at the forefront of innovation towards electrification. The introduction of the Prius Hybrid in 1997 changed the way the world thinks about mobility. Since then, they've expanded their lineup to include more Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs), Plug-in Hybrids (PHEVs) and Hydrogen Fuel Cell EVs (FCEVs) with Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) coming soon!
This guide will simplify the jargon and break down all the Toyota Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (EVs) vehicles for you.
Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV)
A hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) is the form you're probably most familiar with. HEVs combine gas engines with electric motors to generate electricity as you drive, so they never need to be plugged in. Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive seamlessly, and automatically, chooses the most efficient source and blend of power. Low speeds primarily use the electric motor while regenerative braking converts braking energy into electric energy to help recharge the battery.
The Toyota Prius was the first Toyota vehicle to employ this technology.
Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle operates in much the same way as an HEV. However, being able to plug in a PHEV to extend the electric-only driving range is what sets them apart.
The Toyota Prius Prime is a perfect example of this. It has the ability to commute up to 40km and reach 135km/h in EV mode. Additionally, it has a combined range of up to 1,035km. It also has one of the fastest charging times in its class, with no additional special equipment needed.
Also coming soon is the most powerful and efficient RAV4 yet - boasting 302 horsepower, 0-100 km/h capability in less than 6 seconds, and the ability to travel up to 60 km on electric power alone, the RAV4 Prime will be at our dealership in 2021.
A big differentiator between PHEVs and HEVs is that you could save on a PHEV with both Federal and Provincial programs.
- In British Columbia, we have the CEVforBC program that gets you up to $1500 on a PHEV.
- The Federal iZEV will get you up to $2500 back.
That's a total of up to $4,000 in savings. Incentives are also available for those wishing to lease.
Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV)
As the name would suggest, these vehicles are fueled by the most abundant element in the universe - Hydrogen.
You fuel up with hydrogen in the same way you would a gas-powered vehicle. The hydrogen is stored in carbon fibre, high-impact resistant tanks. A chemical reaction combines the hydrogen fuel and oxygen from the atmosphere to generate electricity. What’s more, is that regenerative braking captures additional energy, creating even better efficiency. They emit zero CO2 and the only thing that comes out of the tailpipe is water!
Safety is Toyota's greatest priority with FCEVs. The hydrogen fuel tanks absorb five times the crash energy of steel and sensors stop the flow of hydrogen in the event of a crash. In case of a leak, hydrogen will quickly dissipate as it is lighter than air and hydrogen-related parts are located outside the cabin to ensure no leaked hydrogen builds up.
Crash mitigation begins with crash prevention and the equipped Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 is a host of advanced safety features that aims to reduce the likelihood of crashes. It can even get you a 10% ICBC discount.
The Mirai is Toyota's current offering in this space and features an approximately 5 minute hydrogen fueling time, 151hp and up to 500kms of driving range!
Coming early 2021, the totally redesigned Mirai represents a leap forward for fuel cell electric vehicles, with a significantly greater range, improved driving performance and an elegant, sporty design. The 2021 Mirai features a rigid body and low centre of gravity, which makes for nimble and rewarding handling.
Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)
Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) are what people usually refer to these days when they're talking about EVs. These simply use a rechargeable battery for their power. They don't have fuel tanks of any kind nor do they emit anything. Toyota has a complete lineup of BEVs on the horizon as part of their next-generation e-TNGA architecture. We'll be sure to keep you updated on the lastest developments.