With more Battery EVs (BEV) being seen on the road these days and increase of charging stations, you might have thought of switching to one as they offer several benefits over fuel vehicles, such as having lower maintenance costs with lesser parts and no fluids to replace, more efficient in heavy traffic and environmental friendly as they don’t generate noise and exhaust fumes.
However, BEVs still don’t offer range and space that’s close to similarly priced fuel vehicle rivals, not to mention the chore of charging them at public charging stations. You wouldn’t want an important journey to be bogged down by such situations.
Introducing Toyota Hybrid Electric Vehicles
Fortunately, there is a more practical alternative to go green, and that is a Toyota Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV), which uses two separate sources of power – a combustion engine and an electric motor – to deliver a comfortable yet efficient drive without the need to plug in halfway through your journey. All you need is to refuel the car when needed.
Toyota is well known for its hybrid electric technology in vehicles since the Prius in 1997, which has seen constant improvements over the years. The more recent models are the Corolla Cross Hybrid Electric and Innova Zenix Hybrid Electric in Malaysia, which are excellent HEVs for families of various sizes. Compared to similarly priced EVs, they travel further per refuel and offer space that the latter can’t match.
Relatively Low Maintenance and Responsive Performance
Granted, a HEV comes with a combustion engine which one will assume of higher maintenance costs as compared to BEVs. Quite the contrary, the maintenance cost for a Toyota HEV can be relatively low all thanks to the removal of many parts and the higher reliability of electric and battery components.
For instance, it has regenerative braking that results in less wear on the brake pads.
Similar to BEVs, Toyota HEVs have the benefit of using the battery entirely when the vehicle is idle and traveling at low speeds. This saves fuel and offers a silent driving experience if you are in a heavy traffic situation or only need to cover a short distance. The combustion engine only kicks in when the car is picking up speed, while regenerative braking charges the battery.
Also, Toyota HEVs are as fun to drive as a BEV as it offers a responsive acceleration all thanks to the instant availability of torque from the electric motor and the higher speeds the combustion engine can deliver. The dual power sources perfectly complement each other to optimise power and performance at any speed.
Battery Degradation? Bad Resale Value?
At this point, two things will come into mind – battery degradation and resale value. Are they any better than BEVs?
Well, there’s no denying that any batteries will degrade over time with discharge cycles and most manufacturers would have offered an extended warranty on them. Toyota offers an 8+2 year warranty on a HEV battery for peace of mind, which is the longest of any electric vehicles sold in the Malaysian market, and since the battery pack of a HEV has lesser capacity than a BEV, it is ultimately more affordable to replace when it wears out.
This ultimately leads to the concern of a HEV’s resale value, which one will assume it to be worse than a fuel vehicle due to battery replacements, but quite the contrary, a used Toyota HEV resale value is rather impressive.
A quick check at Carlist.my reveals that a used 2012 Toyota Prius Luxury (Launch Price: RM145k) is still being sold for as much as RM36,000 at this time of writing, which if you do the math, it merely lost approximately 75% of its value even after 11 years. This shows how confident used car dealers are towards Toyota HEVs, and more importantly, buyers are assured of a lower maintenance compared to a similar year’s petrol vehicle.
Therefore, a Toyota HEV is a great choice for going green while having very similar savings to a BEV in Malaysia without the hassle. The Corolla Cross Hybrid and Innova Zenix Hybrid are available for a test drive in showrooms, so definitely go check them out to learn how you can enjoy an electrified efficient drive.
For more information on Toyota’s HEV battery warranty, head here to learn more.