8 things you didn’t know about hybrid

Our six-strong range of hybrid cars offer a quiet and relaxing drive and could save you a packet, but there’s more to hybrids, and the technology that underpins them than that. We focus on eight you may not know.

1. Hybrid technology isn’t new 

s800 front

It can be daunting being an early adopter to new, untested technology, but you’re in extremely safe hands with hybrid  as we first unveiled hybrid versions of the S800 and Century models in the 1970s! The cars used a combination of gas turbine engines and electric motors.

2. The batteries don’t affect boot space

Hybrid ATS

Thanks to clever packaging, the load space on hybrid variants of Yaris, Auris and Auris Touring Sports are exactly the same size as their petrol and diesel counterparts.

3. The petrol engine and electric motor can work in tandem

Yaris profile

All of our hybrid cars are ‘Full’ hybrids. This means they contain two separate powerplants; a battery-powered electric motor and a petrol-driven combustion engine. Each of these can power the car alone, or in combination. This differs from a ‘series’ hybrid, which is driven by an electric motor and the combustion engine has no direct connection to the transmission.

4. The engine doesn’t have to be running for the air conditioning to work

photo (1)

In a conventional petrol or diesel-powered car, the compressor that powers the air conditioning is connected to the engine, meaning it can only be operated when the engine is running. In our hybrids, the compressor is connected to the high voltage battery, allowing the system to run even when the petrol engine is inactive. On Prius and Prius Plug-in models, the air conditioning can be activated via the car’s key fob to allow the car to reach the ideal temperature before a trip.

5. Hybrids use fewer moving parts than conventional petrol and diesel engines meaning there is little to go wrong.

ATS shoot

6. The hybrid systems fitted to our cars are tailored to suit the model they’re fitted to

Yaris hybrid

It’s not a case of one size fits all for our hybrid vehicles; each one has a powerplant that best suits its purpose. The Yaris Hybrid uses a specially downsized version of our hybrid synergy drive set-up to save boot space and reduce kerbweight. The Prius+ and Prius Plug-in use energy dense lithium-ion batteries to save weight further and increase EV range.

7. Solar panels can keep the cabin cool on Prius models

Prius roof unnit

The Prius is the first car in the world that’s cabin temperature can be cooled by solar panels. The panels are available as an option, and are integrated into a sliding glass sunroof.

8. We’re continually developing our hybrid technology

Prius windfarm

We know that we’ve hit on a winning formula with hybrid synergy drive, but we aren’t resting on our laurels. During the last financial year, Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) planned to invest over £4 billion in advancing hybrid technology. The current-generation Prius is 26% more fuel efficient than the first-generation, which was introduced to Europe in 2000.

Further information about our range of hybrid vehicles is available on the designated hybrid section of the Toyota UK website. If you would like to experience a hybrid for yourself, leave a comment below and we’ll be in touch shortly.

By Eliott Farr


  1. When I turn on my Toyota Corolla hybrid 2020 the air conditioning on both sides of the air conditioner work for a fleeting moment, then the passenger’s side just stops. No air. Is there any reason for this? Could I have accidentally pressed something to turn it off or is there something wrong with it?

    1. Hi Maria,
      Thanks for getting in touch with us.
      We would recommend contacting the Toyota distributor in your region for further help with your enquiry as we are only able to advise on UK specification vehicles.
      Your nearest Toyota centre might be the best place to start as they will be able to assess your car and identify any issues that need to be rectified.

  2. Hi ..
    I have a toyota auris 2013 and when i have less then 6 liters of petrol in tank the ac is not working…but when i fill the tank is working again… is thise normal for a hybrid?

    1. Hi Cristian,
      Thanks for getting in touch with us.
      Please could you provide us with your UK registration? We can then look into this for you.

  3. Hi,

    Would a 2018 C-HR Hybrid Team Deutschland allow me to run the air conditioning while engine is off? Overnight for 8 hours when car camping? Thanks!

    1. Hi Mike,
      Thanks for your comment.
      We are only able to advise on UK specification vehicles.
      Please contact Toyota in your region for further assistance.

  4. I have recently bought a Toyota Yaris Hybrid (SJ68XFL), I would like to know the fuel tank capacity & the reserve capacity. I have been using it on motorways & city roads but not able to drive in EV mode actually not familiar on how to use & get the best fuel efficiency. Please do give me a reply with tips to improve my driving.

  5. I have recently bought a used Toyota Yaris Hybrid (EA64DGZ), when I turned on A/c only normal or hot air blowing but no cool air coming. Does I have a faulty air-conditioning?

    1. Hi Saqib, congratulations on your purchase!

      Please contact your Toyota Centre so that they can inspect this issue.


  6. My Corolla Excel air conditioning will not blow cold air below 15C on a hot day. On a cold day it works fine. My wife has a non hybrid petrol Honds Jazz which blows much colder air. My car has had an air con service and regass at a cost of £90 and I’ve been told the hybrid has less affective aircon due to tye size of the electric compressor.

    1. Hi there, thanks for getting in touch.

      Your local Toyota Centre is best placed to advise on this.


      Toyota UK

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