Mileage of Hybrid Cars

Hybrid car mileage is one of the most frequently asked questions and the short answer is that for short journeys at slower speeds, or in built-up traffic, a hybrid car can run on its electric motor for most of the journey. So if you mostly drive in and around town, a hybrid car’s mpg improves dramatically over a conventional car where the petrol or diesel engine is running at all times.

How does a hybrid compare with petrol and diesel cars on mileage?


As the hybrid car increases speed, it automatically switches from its electric motor to use its conventional petrol engine. However, even when taking slow speed usage out of the equation, hybrid mpg is still very low. You can see how the different types of power train within the Toyota range compare at the bottom of the page.

Economy or power mode, what will you choose?

Toyota Hybrids allow you to choose an economy mode for better mileage or switch to power mode for increased acceleration.

When are hybrid cars most efficient?


Are hybrid cars good for city driving?
Research shows conventional engines to be inefficient at low city traffic speeds. This is where the electric motor takes over in hybrid cars. Regenerative braking also means more energy is recovered when the electric motor runs backwards as a generator when the car is slowing, making hybrids much more fuel efficient especially for city driving.

How else do hybrids save power?

Power steering takes energy from the engine via belts in some conventional cars. Having this powered electrically means the engine doesn’t need to be running to steer easily. The same applies for the air-conditioning compressor, which is generally also electric and separate from the engine in hybrid cars.

What other ways are hybrids more efficient?

Hybrid cars take aerodynamics into consideration as wind resistance is a big deal, especially when it comes to higher speeds. They also use smaller lighter engines and materials like magnesium and aluminium as it takes less fuel to move less weight. Narrower more pressurised tyres are sometimes also used as they have less rolling resistance.

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