Toyota’s Electric and Hybrid Vehicles
For more than twenty years, Toyota has been a pioneer in alternative fuel autos. By 2025 Toyota will have an electric or hybrid version of every vehicle in its lineup. The models, complete with a hybrid battery, will have Toyota’s new 10-year / 150,000-mile Hybrid Battery Warranty that come standard with all models from the year 2020 and later. For Jacksonville residents looking to make the leap into a hybrid or Electric Vehicle, Toyota is the most reliable way to go.
Types of Hybrid & Electric Vehicles (and how they work)
Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV) are powered by an internal combustion engine that runs on gasoline and an electric motor, hence the name “hybrid”. The battery is self-charging, meaning it gets its charge through regenerative braking and via the combustion engine, not via plugging in. So, no need to worry about charging this car to get around Jax neighborhoods like Yulee or Baldwin. Fuel economy is measured in miles per gallon (MPG). Hybrid vehicles are much more efficient than traditional vehicles and Toyota Hybrid’s come in all shapes and sizes. However, for a consumer, they appear to function the same way a traditional car would, so it is a seamless transition. In addition to lower fuel consumption, hybrid vehicles have no extra maintenance like oil changes for replacing spark plugs.
Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles (PHEV) are powered by an internal combustion engine that runs on gasoline and an electric motor running on a hybrid battery. While plugging in is optional, it is less expensive than filling a tank with gas. Charging time varies depending on both the battery size and outlet voltage.
There are three charging levels: Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3. The common outlet in homes is a level one charger, while a faster charge is level 2 (240 volts) which many owners opt to have this kind of outlet installed in their home. Using a 240v outlet speeds up the charging time. Level 3 charging is the fastest and can only be found at EV charging stations.
Fuel economy is measured in miles per gallon (MPG), like Hybrids. PHEV vehicles are much more efficient than traditional vehicles and provide the flexibility of a gasoline vehicle with the practicality and performance of an electric vehicle. PHEV can be plugged in and charged up for short trips or filled with gasoline for longer drives and road trips like heading to Disney from Jacksonville. These hybrid autos operate give the owner peace of mind, knowing they’ll never have to worry about charging their vehicle away from home. Toyota Plug-In Hybrid Models: Prius Prime.
Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) are powered by an electric motor running on a large battery pack which means plugging in is required to operate. Charging times vary depending on the battery size and outlet voltage. There are three charging levels: Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3. The common outlet in homes is a level one charger, while a faster charge is level 2 (240 volts) which many EV owners opt to have this kind of outlet installed in their home. Using a 240v outlet speeds up the charging time. Level 3 charging is the fastest and can only be found at EV charging stations. Currently there are over 400 charging stations throughout Jacksonville. Find the one closest to you here.
Fuel economy is measured in miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe).
Toyota Battery Electric Models: Coming to Jacksonville in 2023 – bZ4X
Plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles are more expensive than hybrid and gas-only vehicles. However, drivers may also qualify for special tax credits and incentives that are only available for alternative fuel vehicles. These vehicle perks can offset the vehicle’s upfront cost. And, of course, there are the fuel savings over time.
EV TAX CREDITS
How much can I get in tax credits if I buy an EV? Depending on the vehicle being purchased, owners may qualify for a federal electric vehicle tax credit up to $7,500. The size of the rebate is affected by the vehicle’s battery capacity and the buyer’s tax situation. We’re not accountants, so be sure to consult with one before making an EV or PHEV purchase. This EV tax credit is only offered for new vehicles that can be plugged in to charge a battery pack 4 kWh or larger. Prius, Prime and Rav4 Prime both qualify for this credit, but hybrids like Prius are not eligible.
Does Toyota recycle its hybrid batteries? Absolutely. A common misconception is that all hybrid batteries end up in landfills but that’s not true with Toyotas. The goal is to help support the environment by keeping hybrid batteries out of landfills and reusing or recycling their components. Here’s how they do it:
- REPAIR – If an older hybrid battery is in good condition, it can be repaired and reused. A faulty battery is sent to the Toyota dealership where it is repaired by replacing components and can once again be used.
- REMANUFACTURE – If a hybrid battery cannot be repaired, and competents that are functional are removed and repackaged for another hybrid battery.
- REPURPOSE – If a hybrid battery simply cannot be fixed, it is repurposed to help power facilities or for use in heavy machinery.
- RECYCLE – If a hybrid battery doesn’t meet the above criteria, it goes through a multi-stop process to be recycled. The Toyota dealership packages it using a reusable container that exceeds USDOT regulations. It’s then shipped to Toyota’s recycling partner in Southern California where it’s dismantled and recycled.
What is the difference between an electric vehicle and a plug-in hybrid?
- An electric vehicle or EV runs completely on an electric battery which means it can only get its power or “fuel” by electricity. On the other hand, a Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) gets its fuel from 2 sources, either gas or power from the battery (from being plugged in). In the case of a PHEV once the power is depleted from the batter it uses gas as a reserve. This is why it is a popular choice for many early adopters of this technology. It isn’t always easy to plug in or wait for the charge.
Do EVs have transmission?
- No. EVs don’t need to switch gears.
Are EVs better for the environment?
- In the long term, yes, EVs are better for the environment. It should be noted that the battery production for an EV generates higher emissions than a non-EV car. But over time, the efficiency of the EV offsets the emissions of a regular vehicle.
How long will an EV battery last?
- Although it is not a fact, it is estimated that an EV battery will last about 10 years. Toyota offers a 10-years warranty on its Electric Car batteries.
What kind of maintenance to EVs need?
- EVs require much less maintenance than other cars. No need to change the oil or spark plugs or replace a battery every couple of years. They will require you to replace fluids like coolant, brake fluid, windshield wiper fluid. However, these costs are negligible compared to a non-EV auto.
Does the temperature affect the range?
- Yes. Extreme temperatures do affect the range / charge of an EV battery. During a AAA study, it was found that range dropped by over 40 percent in cold weather (around 20 degrees). Hot weather caused the range to decline as well but by less than half, 17 percent.
What kind of towing capacity can I get with an EV?
- For Electric Vehicles the towing capacity varies greatly. The Toyota RAV4 Prime PHEV can tow up to 2,500 pounds but keep in mind towing will deplete the battery more quickly.
What is a kwh anyway?
- A Kilowatt-hour is a unit of energy. One kilowatt being sustained for a full hour is the measurement. But what is this is dollars? The average US household pays 14 cents per kWh. And one gallon of gas contains approximately 33.7 kWh of energy.
Does the battery of an Electric Vehicle degrade over time? Is it like a cell phone or laptop battery?
- Yes, the battery of an EV will degrade over time like the battery in a cell phone or laptop. Unlike those other batteries, it gets worse if you let the battery get low before charging and many manufacturers don’t recommend charging higher than 80 or 90 percent.
How much does it cost to insure an Electric Vehicle?
- It costs about 15 percent more than other vehicles to insure electric vehicles. This is because if parts are ever damaged, they are usually not able to be repaired but need to be replaced. Also, the parts are costly. Source: https://www.moneygeek.com/insurance/auto/electric-vehicle-insurance-costs/
Do I have to live near a charging station to have an EV or PHEV?
- The short answer is no. If you drive mostly short distances, you can most likely get by with a Level 2 charger in your home. However, if you drive long distances you may need to recharge more often or before you are able to get home.
Will my electricity cost be very expensive?
- As of today’s cost of gasoline, it will still be more inexpensive to charge up an EV than fill up a car with fuel. To estimate your cost, divide the average amount of miles you drive each month by 3 (the amount of kWh than an electric car gets). Then multiply that by how much you pay per kWh for electricity (average US household pays 14 cents. According to the example below a person who drives 1000 miles per month would spend around $47 per month to charge their EV. That’s less than most people spend in one week to fill their tank. Keep in mind DC Fast chargers (Level 3) would cost more. If you drive 1000 miles per month, 1000 / 3 = 333. 333 x 0.14 = $46.67
Can I get by just plugging in my car to a regular outlet?
- Yes, in much the same way you can use dial up instead of high-speed internet for surfing the net. You can do it theoretically, but it will take much longer and be much more inconvenient.
How much does it cost to have a Level 2 charger installed?
- You should budget about $2,000 to have a Level 2 Charger installed in your home. And yes, you really do want this option. A regular outlet will take much longer to charge up your vehicle.
How long does it take to charge an EV?
- There are three charging levels: Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3. The common outlet in homes is a level one charger, while a faster charge is level 2 (240 volts) which many owners opt to have installed in their home. Using a 240v outlet speeds up the charging time. Level 3 charging is the fastest and can only be found at EV charging stations.
- Level 1 – regular home outlet will take an average of 40 hours to charge your Electric car.
- Level 2 – 240v outlet will charge an Electric Vehicle in about 8 hours. You can expect 15 – 25 miles.
- Level 3 – Only available in public areas, these will charge your vehicle fully in about 40 minutes.
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