The strong and silent type:
Mollie wasn’t a bit impressed when I landed home this week with one of the latest in the Toyota Range. All her life she has replaced rounding up sheep with postmen and cars arriving in our home. If you are sitting in our kitchen you will see her cocking her ears seconds before a car rattles over the cattle grid at the end of the driveway.
It’s as if she perfected the act of listening to a car changing down or braking before they make the turn in to our street.
Our family pet, a sheep dog has worked 24/7 all her life like an air traffic controller from different windows within our house, as she communicates with inbound and outbound flights.
When I turned the key in the front door, Mollie greeted me with mystery, she looked out and eased her nose up into the air as if to try and smell the car parked behind me.
The car that she was trying to figure out travelled the last 100 yards in silence which really fooled her. I had stopped to let a neighbour out of his driveway Then the hybrid switch to the electric power source and progressing slowly up the road and in the driveway in near silence. The car I was driving was the all new RAV4 Hybrid from Toyota. Mollie my dog had no answers about this animal (in her world) but it had the smallest carbon footprint ever to arrive into her runway.
Hybrids Make You happy:
Hybrids make you happy! well that’s what the boys at Toyota say , collecting the car on a wet miserable Monday I thought to myself they will have some job making that happen to this driver today. I wasn’t out the gate of Kelly’s Toyota garage when my phone rang in my pocket, and it started ringing again as I was trying to negotiate a busy roundabout, so when I got a place to pull in I took the call.
When I was stopped I thought I would link my phone up to the bluetooth system on the car. In no time we were linked in. As I was about to take off it dawned on me that the Hybrid had engine on standby.
In a perfect world I could have done the same and switched off the engine as I was taking a phone call, but we never do, cars would be so easy on fuel if humans didn’t drive them.
Humans and economy:
If we look we how they deal with economy, route one is to buy a diesel powered car , know that it going to be easier on fuel than a petrol powered car, check the fuel consumption once or twice on a long easy run and then bum about it and believe that is the figure your getting all the time.
If you consider that the 2,000cc diesel powered RAV4 will return 51mpg for urban driving you could never imagine that a 2,500cc petrol-power hybrid can beat its diesel powered brother by nearly 5 more miles to the gallon in the same urban cycle and one other thing as all hybrid owners will know, this is achieved with an automatic gearbox , something that always was considered to be a no no for good fuel economy.
Making it all look so easy:
Everything about this RAV4 hybrid is about efficiency. This current model is running away with sales figures in America, it’s even pipping it’s beautiful cousin the Lexus NX 300h which are identical from high cheekbones to chassis on the inside but outwardly look different in appearance and price.
On the road life could not be more comfortable behind the wheel. That wet miserable Monday driving conditions could not have being worse. A driver undertook me on the inside lane way above the national speed limit. I wasn’t holding him up and watched him as his car pushed the water from the road into a spray behind him, when I arrived at the next roundabout there he was trapped again by the traffic around him. We both progressed slowly through the heavy traffic to the junction, the hybrid silently on the power of it’s electric motor.
I knew as I sat there that even if this car was all about efficiency it had nearly 200 brake horse power from both its petrol and electric motors on tap, Thats if I decided to use them.
I think at that moment I realised I was sitting in a far more intelligent car than he was and it had nothing to prove. So yet again we are back at human v hybrids.
Hybrids are taking on humans even my son who thinks he wants to work in renewable energy believed that the batteries in this car had to be plugged into the mains which he felt defeated the purpose of this cars carbon footprint. All of Toyota’s Hybrids are self sufficient in that they recharge the batteries with the petrol engine and even tap into gravity by recharging the batteries with the brakes when the car is going down hill or coming to a stop.
On that same wet Monday evening I now was back in my diesel van in a traffic jam in the Port Rd, I pulled the handbrake on and waited for the traffic to move.
After a delay the traffic started to move, I eased my foot of the brake and pressed the throttle , nothing happened, the three lanes of traffic moved away from me and still nothing happened , now someone is blowing their horn behind me to move or we will get caught on the next set of lights , then I realise I am not in the Toyota Hybrid anymore, I didn’t put the van into gear, then I go and stall the engine and the light slowly go from green to amber to red. It was the second time that day I thought about hybrids but now I am looking out though the window of the more primitive car.
In summing up you don’t need to be an electrician to drive and understand a hybrid car. In fact you have far less to do in a hybrid than in any other car. That is because this car makes you look as if you know all about the workings of this car, how it takes a gallon of petrol and extracts so much energy out of it and also looks for power it can generate from the world around it.
Toyota were right , Hybrids do make you happy, you become an important part of their team. Normal day driving is getting from A to B with the least amount of fuss, in a Hybrid your journey is planned for to go a little further in this world on the same amount of fuel.
Happy Hybrid Motoring Folks!Tags: