Mythbusting: Top Hybrid Misconceptions


Hybrid Mythbusting







Dispelling some of the top misconceptions about hybrids









There are a lot of thoughts and opinions floating around about hybrids these days. And as you’d expect, most of them involve the great ownership benefits these models offer, like their increased efficiency and fantastic long-term cost savings. But there are also some conceptions out there that are, plainly put, simply incorrect. Let’s take a minute to get to the bottom of some of the most common hybrid myths, so we can see why so many say that these high-tech vehicles truly represent the future of driving.

MYTH: Hybrid tech is unproven.

A little skepticism is always a good thing, but in the case of Toyota hybrids, you can rest assured that the technology is proven. Toyota practically pioneered the concept, having manufactured its first hybrid all the way back in 1997, and the brand has since sold millions of hybrid models through the years that followed. And true to Toyota standard, many of these are still on the road today. So it’s no surprise that Toyota is the undisputed leader when it comes to understanding and selling hybrids – both nationally and globally. Toyota’s current North American lineup includes seven different hybrid models. (Eight, if you consider the related Mirai fuel-cell vehicle.)

MYTH: Hybrids are expensive.

Advanced tech comes at a huge cost, right? Not necessarily. Especially considering what you get for the price. As an example, the 2019 Avalon hybrid models start out at $1,000 more than the gas-only models.

Now spread that out over the lifetime of the vehicle, and the difference becomes truly negligible. And on top of that, don’t forget the long- term savings that will come from the reduction in fuel costs, thanks to the excellent fuel economy these vehicles offer. For instance, that same Avalon hybrid (EPA-est. 44 mpg combined)¹, when driven a typical 12,000 miles per year, can be estimated to save a whopping $436 in gas every year compared to its gasoline counterpart (EPA-est. 26 mpg combined).²

Annual Fuel Costs


$1,066 / year

Avalon Hybrid

$630 / year

Based on driving 12,000 miles per year at the National Average fuel cost of $2.31 per gallon



Hybrid Mythbusting

Dispelling some of the top misconceptions about hybrids

MYTH: Hybrids are underpowered.

Definitely not. In fact, if you look at Toyota models that offer hybrid variants, you’ll find that the hybrid vehicles frequently not only boast more total system power than their gasoline-only counterparts, but they also deliver that power in a much more usable manner. That’s because their electric motor components produce their portion of the vehicle’s power immediately – they don’t need to build up RPM to hit maximum power like gasoline engines do. This makes them feel incredibly responsive, and that’s because they are. It’s no surprise that many extreme performance and race cars are now turning to hybrid tech for that extra edge around the track.



MYTH: Hybrids need to be plugged in.

While some vehicles – like Prius Prime – are, in fact, known as “plug- in hybrids,�? they are not the same thing as regular hybrids. Plus, their ability to plug in for longer electric range is an added bonus, not a requirement. Meanwhile, every Toyota hybrid has a regular gas tank just like any other vehicle, and it does not behave any differently at the pump – simply fill up like normal. In fact, all Toyota hybrids are even designed to run on standard 87-grade gasoline. So really, the only difference you’ll notice is how much less frequently you’re visiting those gas stations – by some estimates, a whopping 35% less.

MYTH: Hybrids have less room.

On the surface, this seems logical. After all, their bigger batteries and complex powertrain components have to fit somewhere, right? Well, the truth is, those days are long gone. Advances in technology and packaging efficiency have made the storage space difference between hybrid and non-hybrid vehicles largely a thing of the past. In fact, some models – like Camry and Camry Hybrid – have no difference whatsoever in the cargo capacity³ figures. Plus, with the exclusively hybrid Prius family being comprised entirely of hatchback body styles, practical storage is simply part of the design.

MYTH: Hybrids are dangerous.

This myth stems from the idea that, in the event of a serious accident, emergency responders may have to cut through dangerous high- voltage wiring to access the passenger compartment. But the truth is, voltage to those wires is immediately cut off and isolated to the battery when the vehicle detects a collision. That’s because vehicles with electric-drive capabilities are designed with multiple fail-safes in mind, including the aforementioned automatic cutoff switch and clearly labeled high-voltage wiring. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, there’s no significant difference between hybrid and non-hybrid vehicles when it comes to safety.


1.2019 Avalon Hybrid XLE EPA-estimated 43/city, 44/hwy, 44/comb MPG estimates. Actual mileage will vary. 2. 2019 Avalon XLE EPA-estimated 22/city, 32/hwy, 26/comb MPG estimates. Actual mileage will vary. 3. Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution. Always properly secure cargo and cargo area.