March 17, 2021 By Gerard Jude Castillo

Hybrid 101: Getting to know hybrid vehicles

Ever since the Prius entered the automotive scene in the late 1990s and became the first-ever mass produced hybrid vehicle, Toyota hybrids have grown in popularity globally over the years. Sadly, it’s not the case in the Philippines as several factors hinder the cutting-edge tech from showing its true potential.

One of these factors is the lack of understanding about hybrids. People tend to think that you need to be a rocket scientist or an A-List celebrity who is awash with cash to drive and own one. But Toyota Motor Philippines says otherwise. On the contrary, it’s really quite simple to drive and run. And it won’t cost you an arm and a leg, the Japanese carmaker says.

So what exactly does owning a hybrid vehicle entail? Let’s get to know our hybrids, shall we?

1. What is a hybrid vehicle?

As the name suggests, a hybrid vehicle is one that uses 2 power sources for propulsion (hybrid). In Toyota’s case, its models use a gasoline engine and an electric motor powered by a battery pack. Depending on the driving conditions, the system will seamlessly switch back and forth between the 2 sources. Plus, you don’t need to plug it into a wall outlet or charger as this is taken care of by the system during regenerative braking or coasting.

2. Is it hard to drive a hybrid vehicle?

No. If you know how to drive a gasoline-powered vehicle, then you can easily drive a hybrid. It’s a matter of getting used to things like the sound of silence—those times when the electric motor takes over. This usually happens during start up or when you’re idling in traffic. Other than this, it’s just like driving your regular car.

3. Is it expensive to maintain a hybrid vehicle?

Toyota says it’s not. Apart from filling up the gas tank (which shouldn’t be too often since this is supposedly more fuel efficient), all you need to do is bring in your hybrid vehicle for its regular Preventive Maintenance Service (again, just like a regular gasoline car). Moreover, the hybrid battery is covered by a 5-year warranty (on top of the vehicle’s 3-year warranty) and is designed to last the lifetime of the vehicle.

4. Can I safely drive a hybrid vehicle in a flood?

Yes, you can. The gasoline engine and electric motor are positioned at the same height as a regular vehicle’s. Moreover, Toyota says that its hybrid system will automatically shut down should it come into contact with water.

 

5. Are hybrid vehicle pricey?

Apart from the Prius, Toyota Motor Philippines offers other hybrid models in its lineup. The Toyota Corolla Altis Hybrid, for instance, is priced similarly to its 1.8V gasoline sibling at P1,595,000. And the Corolla Cross is also not too far off at P1,665,000. And as mentioned above, uou hardly need to fill up the gas tank, especially if you regularly tool around in the city and in traffic where the electric motor will usually kick in.

All told, you shouldn’t fear hybrid vehicles. On the contrary, this piece of future tech is available to us now and isn’t all that different from its gasoline-powered counterpart.

 

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