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How do I drive an Hybrid?


FiestaRed
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With my Corolla now actually on the horizon, I guess I should be asking "how do I get the best out of an hybrid car"?

Apart from my test drive, I have never driven automatic or hybrid cars before. I see some really high MPG figures on here and I'd like to use the car to its best advantage. Are there any videos available that may help? Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Lots of videos on You Tube, most probably of US origin and of a Prius, but the principles are the same.

The Toyota e-CTV gear box is not like “conventional” auto boxes, much smoother, seemless in that there are no gears to change like a normal auto box.   If you are like the majority of Toyota hybrid drivers you will find it a very relaxing experience.  Note that the mpg in the summer is better then winter, up to say 8 mpg.

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To be honest. There are lots and lots of techniques on you tube some focussing on hypermiling some on pulse and glide. 
having driven Prius for a very long time I’d give you some honest advice. 

Drive it as you would a normal car. 

the new Corolla hybrid and especially the mk4 PrIus hybrid are the closest to the feeling of normality. My mk2 prius very much had a “personality” of its own. 🙂

cat and frosty can confirm my attitude to that driving style has shown good mpg 🙂

 

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For best economy once you're familiar with the main controls ensure you have the eco gauge showing on the dash. Avoid pushing the bar into the PWR area and to prolong EV running keep the bar in the first 'EV' section.

Other than that hybrids respond to the same techniques as a conventional car. First and foremost is avoiding your brakes. Hybrids to reclaim some energy when you brake but they can't reclaim all of it so best to control your speed through your accelerator pedal.

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On 8/5/2021 at 5:44 PM, Catlover said:

Lots of videos on You Tube, most probably of US origin and of a Prius, but the principles are the same.

The Toyota e-CTV gear box is not like “conventional” auto boxes, much smoother, seemless in that there are no gears to change like a normal auto box.   If you are like the majority of Toyota hybrid drivers you will find it a very relaxing experience.  Note that the mpg in the summer is better then winter, up to say 8 mpg.

Being really picky - it’s not actually a ‘gearbox’ at all - it’s a transaxle. 

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Ah I always thought CVT stood for constantly variable transmission.

Back in the day my grandad had a DAF with the rubber band gearbox.

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Being very picky - why bother being picky?   😎

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2 hours ago, PaulDM said:

Being ‘super picky’ it’s a conical velocity transmission transaxle 😂 

Eh? It's a set of planetary gears. Nothing conical about it.

e-CVT is an abbreviation of 'Electronic Continuously Variable Transmission'.

https://mag.lexus.co.uk/perfect-partners-e-cvt-and-hybrid/

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TBH, you don't really need to anything special - Unlike the previous hybrids, the new TNGA ones are genuinely efficient and you don't really need to do anything to get good economy out of them. Obviously if you apply more economical driving you can get even better mpg out of them, but that's something you'll start to learn as you drive it.

Even when I'm driving in a 'spirited' fashion, my Yaris Mk4 is still giving mid-70's mpg on average! I do find at constant speeds it seems most economical at the low-mid 50mph's tho' - auto-cruising behind a lorry got me nearly up to 90mpg tank average! In town/start-stop driving the system just takes care of itself, running off the electric motor most of the time as long as I don't monster the accelerator too much!

I will say that, like my old Mk1 D4D diesel, it isn't keen on short journeys and the mpg takes a noticeable hit when I've had days with lots of short site-to-site journeys where the car's been sat long enough for the engine to cool down between them.

 

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The biggest thing that will determine the mpg of your Hybrid Corolla is the weight of your right foot 💡. They are economic cars to begin with so smooth driving techniques will increase the mpg. Over 50yrs ago when I traded in my motorbike for my first car, I asked a mechanic friend of mine had he any advice to give me. He said yes “The best way to drive your car is imagine that you have a glass of water sitting on your bonnet and you don’t want to spill it”. 🤪.😂. Advice not taken literally but has stood me in good stead over the years and many many miles. Enjoy the Toyota.

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I drive normally but also have the graphic on the dash cluster for bar that shows chg, eco, pwr or the one that shows where the flow of energy is going. Sometimes I like to challenge my self to be in EV as much as possible other times I just drive to the speed limit/road conditions, although sometimes I mix it up driving a little quicker when it allows.

Imo just drive in the way most comfortable.

If you are new to automatics/cvt's, just cover the break pedal when you are stopped to control creep when in drive or reverse.

I've seen a few YouTube videos where people say use B for when you want to enhance the recovery of energy but IMO this is wrong, it's only really for using on a steep descent as it applies more engine breaking (hence B).

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Having recently bought a used hybrid, a few things I've noticed or wondered about:

The eco, normal and power drive modes work by adjusting the throttle response curve, there's no magic, in eco the power response is lower to begin with and need to push it down a lot further to access the power. Good in theory for minimising consumption, but something to watch if you are new to hybrids and you put it into eco and don't actively manage modes. I was going a hill on a dual carriageway wondering why I had to almost floor it to get up, where as my old diesel would have done it with far less stress.

Do they exercise the rear brakes enough? If you drive with anticipation and use the regenerative braking, do the brakes get enough of a workout, particularly the rears which tend to be more susceptible to sticking or corrosion. I've seen some suggestions it is periodically worth doing a few stops with the car in neutral, using only the brakes to stop it, to keep the discs clean and brakes exercised. Do other people do this?

What happens to the engine as it reaches the end of the 'eco' power band, at the upper end of the throttle range? There's a sudden step change in noise, its smooth and quiet upto that point, then it sounds like someone reving it to the redline. Compared to regular engines it's a bit unusual, the on/off response at that upper end.

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I've realised over time that accelerating carefully doesn't really improve mpg in the Corolla, nor will trying to make the car drive in EV mode. I just get up to speed at a brisk pace. The thing that makes most difference for me is what others have mentioned: maintaining momentum (read the road ahead so you only lift off or brake gently). When you drive the car normally, without poncing around obsessing over economy, its qualities shine through, and you realise you're getting just as good mpg without holding everyone else up. If you want to see how not to drive a hybrid witness some Prius taxi drivers that drive at sun lorry speeds (often in lane 2) on the motorway and cause chaos. An Uber driver once told me that he knows other drivers that drive like this to save a few pence a day in petrol.

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I agree with the drive modes. Best to leave it in normal IMO.

 Brakes haven't been a problem for me. EVs would be even worse since they have stronger regen and I'm not hearing stories of thousands of rusty, seized brakes. It sounds a bit over-thought to be out rolling your car along in neutral so you can engage the brakes!

I've never noticed a step change as the car leaves the eco zone personally.

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I drive in normal mode, deliberately avoid any of the graphics or numbers associated with fuel consumption, turned off the EV mode indicator.

The mpg screen is set to per tank, and I look at just before I fill up, it's about 57mpg at the moment, pretty good I think.

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48 minutes ago, camellia30 said:

I drive in normal mode, deliberately avoid any of the graphics or numbers associated with fuel consumption, turned off the EV mode indicator.

The mpg screen is set to per tank, and I look at just before I fill up, it's about 57mpg at the moment, pretty good I think.

So many drivers these days Ian,simply do not bother to read their Handbooks, (paper or Internet version.)

Normal mode is the recommendation for driving and let the technology determine when  ECO is available.

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3 hours ago, camellia30 said:

I drive in normal mode, deliberately avoid any of the graphics or numbers associated with fuel consumption, turned off the EV mode indicator.

The mpg screen is set to per tank, and I look at just before I fill up, it's about 57mpg at the moment, pretty good I think.

Yep.  This will be my first hybrid but I've driven autos for a few years now and I reckon I'll stick it in normal mode then just drive it as I do my current car.    I try and drive frugally now anyway.

It's like auto flappy paddles, you use them once just for a giggle and then forget about them.

 

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