Hybrid FAQS


What is a hybrid battery and how long does it last?

There are two motor engines in a hybrid vehicle: one electric engine and one conventional engine. Whilst the hybrid’s conventional engine is powered by fuel such as diesel or petrol, its electric engine is driven purely by a hybrid battery.

Our hybrid battery is not like a standard car battery, but a much more sophisticated component which has been designed and engineered by Toyota to last – and keep working – for the entire lifetime of your car. Unlike a pure electric ‘plug-in’ vehicle that needs to have its battery recharged after a long journey, a hybrid battery continually recharges itself when your car is in motion.

It does this as you drive, through the car wheels turning; and even when you use your brakes, through a process called ‘regenerative energy’. In effect, hybrid cars are like small generators, continually topping their battery power up with electricity and then using it to power the electric engine - and saving on fuel costs.

Hybrid battery lifespan

Maintenance and service costs for a hybrid vehicle are similar to conventional petrol or diesel cars and your Toyota hybrid battery is also covered by the same 5-year or 100,000-mile warranty as the rest of the car.

The Toyota ‘Hybrid Electric Service' includes hybrid specialist checks to ensure your battery is in top condition. Having it annually will extend the standard cover on your hybrid battery for another year, or 10,000 miles, meaning your hybrid battery lifespan can be covered up to a total of 11 years, with no limit on total mileage.

Hybrid battery recycling

Toyota vehicles are amongst the most economical and environmentally friendly available and hybrid battery recycling is important to us. Removing and disposing of a hybrid battery is done by a Toyota Authorised Repairer, and, under EU Directive 2006/66/EC, we aim to recycle over 50% of the weight of a hybrid battery.

Hybrid battery cost

It is possible to replace a hybrid battery beyond its warranty. Prices vary depending on model.


How do hybrid cars compare to petrol and diesel cars for economy and emissions?

A hybrid vehicle has the advantage of being able to switch to its electric motor to drive in heavy traffic, built-up areas or at slower speeds, thereby using no fuel at all to power its conventional engine. In fact, to demonstrate the benefits of hybrid fuel economy, Toyota dealers often invite interested customers to take a hybrid for a test drive and then see just how far they can travel using the electric mode only.

Does a hybrid save you fuel?

On average, at least 50% of the journey time for our hybrid test drives is spent purely in electric mode. This means during this time the conventional engine is not needed for power and therefore no fuel has to be used.

Hybrid vs. petrol or diesel comparison

There’s no doubt that in modern driving conditions, we all get caught up in traffic or speed restricted areas, and in these situations a hybrid offers significant savings on fuel costs. It also offers reduced CO2 emissions and results in a smooth, stress-free drive. T-Charges (Toxicity Charges) are also now in effect in London, and may be on the way for other large cities, to penalise vehicles that do not meet emissions requirements. In this case, the hybrids’ greatly reduced emissions will incur no charges like ordinary petrol or diesel cars will.

Of course, as you increase speed or change to motorway driving in your hybrid vehicle, the conventional engine will kick in to give you added power and then start to use fuel as an ordinary car. In comparing hybrid vs. petrol, a Toyota hybrid offers better fuel economy and C02 emissions. In hybrid vs. diesel, the Toyota hybrid creates lower harmful NOx and PM emissions.

Regenerative braking and its effect on fuel efficiency

Remember, though, unlike like a purely electric plug-in vehicle, or a conventional car, your hybrid is using the engine to recharge its electric batteries and keep them topped up for use. It also uses an advanced regenerative braking system to charge its batteries too, so even when decelerating or braking on a steep hill, for example, the driver is reclaiming electricity – thereby adding to the fuel efficiency of the hybrid.

Advantages of Hybrid

EU regulations favour hybrid
NOx and PM affect human health and cities are implementing restrictions
A virtually noiseless ride with Toyota Hybrid


Will a hybrid car save me money?

New Vehicle Excise Duty (car tax) rules came into effect in April 2017 and cars are charged both according to their CO2 emissions levels and their price when new. Petrol and diesel engine cars emitting 99g/km currently have an annual tax bill of £140 to pay, whereas a comparable hybrid pays £130. There are other savings to be had too. In London, for example, some hybrid cars will be exempt from the congestion charge if they emit less than 75g/km.

Fuel savings offer the main savings in running a hybrid, especially in town, as often it drives only on its electric powered engine, using electricity it self-generates in motion. So no fuel is used. This is a massive saving over a long term as fuel in the tank can be ‘eked out’.

Other ways of saving money include:

  • Competitive finance/leasing offer
  • Low cost of maintenance and less wear and tear than conventional cars
  • High residual values

Hybrid electric servicing costs

In many ways a hybrid car is much the same as a conventional car, the main difference is that it is also able to run on electricity as well as petrol or diesel. This means it also has a sophisticated nickel storage battery and electric engine that allows it to operate purely under electric power without needing recharging.

This specialist technology has been continually refined by Toyota for reliability and performance to the extent that hybrid car maintenance, servicing costs and servicing frequency - are no more than for conventional cars. It costs about the same to service a Toyota hybrid as any comparable car and can be carried out by a Toyota Hybrid Electric Specialist. Toyota’s own Hybrid Servicing includes hybrid specialist checks.

Toyota Hybrids come with:

  • Low cost of ownership: Fewer Components and less wear than conventional.
  • Peace of mind with extended battery cover
  • It's future proof! A Hybrid has access to cities that restrict particle-emitting vehicles
  • Toyota's reputation: We are the Hybrid experts.

Hybrid battery maintenance cost

Every Toyota hybrid comes with a 5-year 100,000 mile warranty which can be extended up to 11 years for free. Every vehicle in our range is serviced by our hybrid electric specialist on an annual basis, supporting you to avoid hybrid battery replacement and additional service costs.

Vehicle emissions charges

London have introduced strict emission charges with the congestion charge, and more recently the T-charge, penalising high emission vehicles charging them daily fees, adding greatly to running costs. Low emissions vehicles such as the Toyota Prius Plug-in are exempt.


Are hybrid cars good for the environment?

How do hybrid cars reduce air pollution? It’s a question of emissions. As a general guide, petrol engines produce the most CO2 gasses and diesel engines produce pollutants, such as NOx, whilst hybrid cars have the lowest emissions.

Hybrid cars and their effect on pollution

How much a hybrid car is better for the environment than a conventional car is often subject to the size of the vehicle and the prevailing driving conditions. In comparisons between the same size and class of vehicle, say a compact city car, and driving in built-up city traffic, hybrid cars use substantially less fuel. They also have considerably lower emissions than conventional cars when running at any speeds

Hybrid car CO2 emissions

Toyota is passionately committed to reducing CO2 emissions in our vehicles. So much so that we have set a target to cut them from our vehicles by 90% by 2050, compared to the levels we had in 2010 with our New Vehicle Zero CO2 challenge.

Hybrid cars and their environmental impact

Toyota has long associations with hybrid cars and the environment and is a recognised leader in green car technology, illustrated by the recent milestone of 10 million global hybrid sales. The company pioneered the first mass-produced hybrid car, the Prius, and continues to make significant breakthroughs in hybrid technology.

What’s more, the T-Charge, which charges cars according to their emissions in central London, could easily be followed by other major cities as health concerns grow. In this case, the low-emissions of Toyota’s hybrid cars will largely avoid these potentially prohibitive daily charges.


Do I need to plug-in my Toyota Hybrid to charge it up?

There’s often some confusion between hybrid vehicles and electric vehicles and that’s because both types of vehicle have an electric engine and a rechargeable battery ‘under the bonnet’. The big difference between them is that a hybrid vehicle has two engines: an electric engine and a conventional fuel powered engine. An electric vehicle only has an electric engine.

This means the electric vehicle has to literally plug itself into a charger to charge up its battery when its power runs out - after so many miles depending on how often it is used. The hybrid vehicle, using technology pioneered and perfected by Toyota, uses its electric motor to drive around town at low speeds and then, when more power is needed, switches to its second, conventional fuel motor, to drive at higher speeds on motorways or for overtaking.

How do you charge a hybrid car?

The advantage of a hybrid vehicle is that it recharges its own battery ‘on the move’ – as it’s being driven by its conventional engine - it even recharges itself when you brake, too. So, issues such as: ‘how to charge a hybrid car’, ‘where are the hybrid charging points located’, or ‘where is my nearest hybrid charging station?’ do not apply.

Charging your hybrid vehicle at home

Because you don’t have to plug in a hybrid to recharge the battery, you aren’t restricted by range. That means no overnight charging, finding power points, waiting or wires. A Toyota hybrid vehicle is electrically self-sufficient and switches automatically between its electric and petrol powered engines as and when it needs to. Obviously, you do need to fill up your tank, as you have a conventional petrol engine – but hybrid efficiency means your fuel lasts that much longer.

Can a hybrid continue to run on electricity when it runs out of fuel?

Having the advantage of both electric and petrol power doesn’t mean that you can run your hybrid without fuel. The electric and conventional engines in a hybrid are designed to work together. So even though a hybrid can operate in an electric-only mode, it must have fuel in the tank – even if only a little. Trying to run a hybrid purely on the electric engine without having the fuel to power the conventional engine will result in damage.

The Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) – the best of all worlds?

The Toyota Prius Plug-in hybrid has all the benefits of being a hybrid, but also has a hybrid charge point so you can give the larger battery an extra charge, at home or at any of the network of PHEV charging points.

Now with an increased electric range of up to 39 miles with a top speed of 83mph in electric mode as well as taking only 2 hours* to fully charge.

*Based on 16 Amp charging capability


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

As the hybrid car increases speed, say on a motorway, then its conventional engine kicks in and it starts to use petrol just like any conventional car. However, even when taking slow speed usage out of the equation, hybrid mpg is still very impressive. You can see how the different types of power train within the Toyota range compare below.

If all the above cars were caught in traffic, or had to slow down, or went through built up areas, the Yaris Hybrid and Prius Plug-In would rely on their electric batteries more and perform at their best. We have made no comparison on fuel with a purely electric car but a typical modern all-electric vehicle may have a range of 155 miles before needing to be recharged. The main advantage of a hybrid in this context is that it needs no recharging.

Toyota’s hybrid cars are growing enormously in popularity and are especially economical in built-up driving conditions. Even in direct comparisons on non-stop driving, hybrid fuel economy and range is every bit as impressive as any comparable conventional car.