Hybrid Myths & Misconceptions

IMPORTANT NOTE - Unless otherwise stated in an individual myth or claim, all comparisons are between a Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive vehicle and a comparable conventional gasoline engine vehicle (comparable in size, class, equipment) when identically driven under identical conditions.

Pricing

Hybrids are expensive

New pricing for all 2012 Toyota hybrids are lower then ever before. The new Prius c will change the pricing landscape for hybrids. Prius c will be MSRP priced below $21,000*.

Durability

Hybrid batteries need to be replaced

Hybrid batteries are designed to last the life of the vehicle. Backed by an 8 year, 160,000km warranty, hybrid taxi's have gone well over half a million km's on the original battery. The fact of the matter is 99% of the hybrid vehicles we have sold since 2001 have never had their original battery replaced.

Hybrid performance doesn't last long

Taxi fleets in Vancouver and Winnipeg have been using hybrids for over a decade logging millions of kms, some with over 1,000,000km on the odometer.

Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries are inferior to Lithium Ion (Li Ion batteries)

NiMH works well for hybrid applications that don't see deep charging cycles without the added cost of Li Ion. NiMH chemistry is appropriate for hybrid application.

Operation Hybrids have to be plugged in

Hybrids never have to be plugged in. EVs have to be plugged in, PHV's can be plugged in, hybrid's never need to be plugged in.

Hybrids are only for city driving

While hybrids benefit from engine-shut-off and more EV driving in the city, Toyota's hybrid engines are of an Atkinson cycle design which is more efficient even on the highway than comparable conventional gas engine vehicles . Atkinson cycle design (vs Otto cycle in conventional engines) is more efficient, but lacks low end torque - which when mated to the electric motors of Hybrid Synergy Drive, provide instantaneous low-end torque.

Hybrids require premium fuel

Toyota hybrids do not require premium fuel.

Ownership & Maintenance

Hybrids are small and underpowered

The Highlander Hybrid is an SUV that can tow with a towing capacity of 3,500 lbs & Camry Hybrid packs 200hp in a mid-size package. Hybrids will be racing in LeMans this year and have competed in the Newfoundland Targa Rally twice.

Hybrids require more maintenance

In a Hybrid, the engines are off some of the time, the brakes are regenerative, saving pad & rotor life, there is no transmission fluid under load, there are no starters, alternators or belts to be replaced. In fact, much of the hybrid maintenance schedule is nearly identical to a conventionally powered vehicle's maintenance schedule.

Hybrids do not have a warranty

Toyota hybrid component warranty is 8 years or 160,000km

Technology

Hybrids have expensive components

The e-CVT transmission has fewer components than a traditional automatic transmission and there is only a battery and inverter as extra parts. Batteries are reliable and approx $2500.

The technology is too new / Hybrids are only a fad

Hybrids have been around for over 10 years now with over 3.3 million sold worldwide. The trend will grow as other manufacturers develop hybrids.

Hybrid batteries are filling up landfills

Hybrid batteries can be dismantled and recycled . Toyota Canada has a battery recycling program in place that recycles over 90% of a Hybrid's used battery

Safety

Hybrids are not safe to drive

Hybrids are as safe to drive as comparably equipped gas vehicles. Hybrids cause no greater concern for passengers or rescuers in the event of a collision than non-hybrid vehicles. The batteries are sealed in a protective metal case and insulated from the vehicle body. Toyota locates the battery packs near the rear axle, a location well-protected in the event of a collision. Hybrid vehicles must conform to the same government crash standards as all other passenger vehicles. Additionally, hybrids shroud their battery cables in bright-orange cladding as a warning to emergency workers.

Hybrids pose a threat to emergency responders

The battery pack is completely sealed. As well, all high voltage circuits are protected against accidental contact. They are marked, colour-coded and have warnings indicating their presence. There are also emergency response guides and dismantling guides published online.

Hybrids cause pacemakers to stop working

Pacemakers and other electronic devices are affected by large electromagnetic fields. All of our cables are shielded and the measured EMF from inside and outside of Toyota hybrid vehicles in the 50-60 hz range are at the same low levels as conventional gasoline vehicles. Therefore there are no additional health risks to drivers, passengers or by-standers.

Hybrids are a silent menace to blind people

Starting in 2012, Toyota will begin equipping our full-model change hybrids with a Vehicle Approach Notice system which audibly mimics the sound pressure of a conventional engine.

Hybrids are not healthy due to electromagnetic fields

Electromagnetic fields or EMF exposure is actually all around us. As mentioned, all of our cables are shielded and the measured EMF from inside and outside of Toyota hybrid vehicles in the 50-60 hz range are at the same low levels as conventional gasoline vehicles. Therefore there are no additional health risks to drivers, passengers or by-standers.

Competitors hybrids

Competitor hybrids are the same as Toyota hybrids

Although almost every manufacturer has a hybrid, our hybrids actually provide suberb fuel efficiency because of the nature of our patented technology (that some other manufacturers even license). Full EV-only driving, engine-start-stop, highly efficient Atkinson cycle engines, regenerative braking, electric motor assist are featured on Toyota's full-hybrids.

Competitors are using Li Ion batteries

Li Ion batteries while packing more energy density than NiMH batteries are more costly than Ni MH batteries and are better suited for deep cycle discharges. Our proven Ni MH batteries have lasted well over our warranty periods and provide robust durable service. We expect Li Ion battery technology will continue to improve and is best suited for use by deep-cycle technologies like EV's, PHV's and FCEV's.

*MSRP does not include freight and PDI of $1565, license, insurance, registration, applicable taxes, levies and fees. Dealer may sell for less.