Toyota first introduced its Hybrid concept car back in 1997. Since then there have been a few updated models. Now Toyota are on their third generation model. They have refined their Hybrid Synergy Drive to make it a lot more efficient and lighter. The Prius uses both a petrol engine and also an electric motor. This creates lower emissions and gives up to 50% better fuel economy. The Prius uses a 1.8 petrol engine which generates 98hp and combined with the power of the electric motor the hp goes up to 134. Fuel economy for urban driving is 116 km/g and for extras urban it is 122 km/g and the combined fuel economy is 116 km/g. The Prius has three driving modes as highlighted below:
- EV Mode has no emissions and is near silent. With enough charge in the battery you are able to go at speeds up to 50km/h. In this mode you do not use any fuel.
- Eco Mode uses the petrol engine as well as the electric motor. The a/c is tuned so as to improve fuel economy and also the pedal response is controlled. You can also monitor how much you push on the accelerator pedal. This can help you save on the fuel consumption. In this mode the vehicle has the best fuel economy.
- Power mode uses the petrol engine as well as the electric motor but in this mode the accelerator response has been amplified so as to give instant power when you push it.
- Solar Ventilation System. Solar panels in the roof of the car run an internal fan. This gets rid of hot air inside the car so when the car is parked the temperature inside should be closer to the temperature on the outside.
- Remote controlled A/C. A button on the key fob can be pressed as you get near to the car. The a/c is powered by the battery so for up to three minutes cool air will cool the cabin before you even get inside the vehicle.