Hybrid Facts with Zack Spencer

Toyota has a twenty-year lead on the competition when it comes to hybrid technology and it shows…

Last year marked a major milestone for Toyota Canada. First, the RAV4 surpassed the Corolla as the best selling vehicle in its lineup. Second, and a big deal, the RAV4 became the best selling compact utility in Canada for the first time. Part of the reason for the surge in popularity was the addition of a hybrid model to the RAV4 family last year.

Toyota is not new to building hybrids. Most non-car enthusiasts know that the Prius is the king of hybrid technology. Toyota has been making and selling hybrids now for twenty years and recently just passed the ten millionth hybrid built worldwide. It is proven too. In fact, Vancouver helped establish Toyota’s hybrid technology when a Yellow Cab owner decided to put one of the very first Prius hybrids into service. It was driven for hundreds of thousands of kilometers and Toyota Japan bought it back to study its real world wear-and-tear. Here we are all those years later and the Prius is the Taxi of choice in most cities worldwide.

Because Toyota has a large portfolio of hybrid vehicles, it has helped the company achieve the best average fuel economy of any mass-market car seller. If buyers want a fuel efficient, low carbon vehicle today, the best and most cost effective choice is a hybrid.

The hybrid is more expensive than a conventional gasoline model but it also has more power. The 2.5L gasoline engine matched to the electric motor has an output of 194hp. The battery for the hybrid system is seamlessly integrated into the cabin of the RAV4, just under the rear seat, keeping all the utility buyers expect without giving up any storage. The RAV4 Hybrid also comes nicely equipped with Bluetooth connectivity, a 6.1-inch or optional 7-inch display, which also comes with navigation. The centre screen has the Birds Eye View monitor system that stitches together the view from four wide-angle cameras placed on the front, back and sides of the RAV4. This provides extra safety and convenience, enabling the driver to see people, cars and objects around the vehicle easily displayed on the centre screen.

On the road, the RAV4 Hybrid has a different drive and feel compared to the gasoline version. At low speeds the vehicle runs on pure electric power and then switches to the combined power of the gasoline and electric motor together. The ability of the RAV4 to use just electricity and be aided by the gas engine drops the fuel economy to just 6.9L/100km in the city and 7.8L on the highway. As a comparison, that is better fuel economy than a 4-cylinder gasoline power Camry sedan– and this is a taller and larger utility vehicle. Because the electric motor is at play…

See what else Zack has to say about Toyota hybrids and get your downloadable PDF here.