Unlike many hybrid cars on the market today, which are often electrified as a marketing tactic or simply to meet California emissions standards, the Toyota Prius was designed from the bottom up to deliver an unparalleled hybrid experience.
So how does the Toyota Prius work, exactly? The long answer would take pages upon pages of technical jargon, but we can still share some of the really cool things that make the Prius the incredible car that it is.
- Its internal combustion engine uses the Atkinson cycle to be efficient even without the need for electrification.
- It uses two electric motors/generators that significantly improve performance (295 lb-ft of torque) and fuel economy.
- It has a low drag coefficient to reduce air resistance at higher speeds, as well as lower rolling-resistance tires to reduce road friction.
- It uses regenerative braking, which simultaneously reduces wear and tear on the brake pads while recharging the battery.
- It can be driven on electric power only to even further lower gas consumption and engine wear. This setting is sometimes called “stealth mode!”
- It has some pretty complex programming. The on-board computer decides when to shift power to and from the engine and motors and when to charge the battery so that no energy is ever wasted.
And these are just some of the goodies the engineers at Toyota came up to make the Prius the most efficient hybrid on the market. Check out the car itself at Lancaster Toyota!