Hybrid Cars

Phoenix,  AZ

February 1, 2005


toyota Highlander
This was a fun shoot and I got to drive a hybrid car.  This is the Toyota Highlander. This was an auto preview show for automobile writers and journalists. The were invited to Phoenix to take these cars out for a day of driving in the city.

hybrid motor
There are several motors in the car 1 gasoline and 2 electric.  With all this plastic it is had to see what is under the hood.

Here is the shifter with Reverse, Neutral, Drive, and Braking.  T hey told me when you are going down a big hill you can shift into braking mode and the electric motors will turn into generators and that will help slow the car on down grades.  This also charges the batteries at the same time.  The car has a continuous differential transmission and that is why there are no gears listed, like 1st, 2nd, or 3rd.

dash board
This is the center of the dash board.  With this display the car shows where the energy is going.  The battery is powering the electric motors and that power is going to the wheels.  When I take my foot off the gas the arrows change.  In this picture the gas engine is idle.  This screen is also used for navigation and the radio.

cactus with keys
Oh No look who has the keys.  The weird this is when you turn the key to on there is no noise, no motor start, and no vibration.  The electric motors and the computer are just waiting for you go.  When the gas motor is needed it kicks in all by itself.  I puttered around the parking lot and the gas engine never came on.

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