Toyota Prius Hybrid Loses Standing

Toyota Prius
Toyota Prius

To many Americans, the Toyota Prius Hybrid is the most fuel-efficient car on the road. Because of this idea, many would presume the iconic hybrid as the top car in the Environmental Protection Agency’s list of Most Fuel Efficient Car in the country.

The Prius is a full hybrid electric car designed by the Toyota Motor Corporation. The Prius has a power-split or series parallel (full) hybrid because it can be propelled using fossil fuel and/or electric power. The car is started using the Power On button to drive using the electric motor. After such time, the internal combustion engine is started replacing the electric motor while at the same time recharging the batteries.

On the other hand, a fully electric car relies on battery power during its full operation. Like the hybrid, the car is turned on with a Power On button and during operation the amount of power in the battery would be fuel available to the car.

This distinction from the EPA has been awarded to the 2011 Nissan Leaf, a fully battery powered electric vehicle. In the latest rankings, the Leaf rated a 99 MPGe or the EPA’s equivalent rate for miles per gallon. According to the EPA, MPGe is miles per gallon of gasoline-equivalent and represents the miles per amount of energy of a non-gasoline fuel that is equivalent to the amount of energy in a gallon of gasoline. It further adds that for an EV or PHEV, 33.7 kilowatt-hours of electricity is equivalent to one gallon of gasoline.

To critics, the MPGe as a measure is inappropriate to compare a hybrid such as Toyota Prius and the electric vehicles such as the Leaf and the Volt. Until they sort this out, the debate can help to make the EV and the revolution nearer to the consumer.