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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Test Driving a Hybrid - Part I

So, thanks to my house-mate, I was able test drive a 2009 Toyota Camry Hybrid last night. Very fun! Here are a few pics of the car to start.

On the right is the Hybrid Synergy Drive. This is the main component of the hybrid system. One part electric motor, one part computer, one part super-battery.

In this pic to the left, you can see the Synergy Drive on the front right, nestled between the pink fluid canister and the orange cables. The rest of the car's normal combustion engine is behind and to the left of the pink canister.

What immediately struck me about this car is that it is in main respects, identical to my 1993 Camry that I still drive everyday.

So, after checking this vehicle out, I'm left with the idea that we are already in the beginning of a major transformation. The hybrids are here and before we know it, all vehicles will have this technology and in a few years, you may not be able to buy a typical vehicle without this system. For those of us who want even more efficiency, we might find versions with a few compromises in style or size, but overall, I'd expect that our average consumption of gasoline is about to go down dramatically.

In the next segment, I'll show you some of the displays within the car and what it was like to drive.
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