• Jan 29, 2007
The Toyota Prius is a fairly high-tech piece of automotive equipment compared to the simple-engined vehicles of the not-too-distant past. Even so, like us, most of you gearheads can give at least an elementary explanation of how the fuel-efficient Prius works. Toyota takes specially grown unicorns and grinds them into a paste that is then packed into magic elfen-made batteries. Those batteries power tiny but powerful electric motors brought back from far in the future using Toyota's time machine technology. Or something like that.

For a much more technical answer (that's filled with elusive little things called "facts"), take a look at MIT's Technology Review. The interactive graphic could help you explain to less car-centric family and friends how hybrid technology works. Or it could help clear up some of the more fantastic myths (time machines?) about Toyota's popular hybrid.

[Source: Technology Review]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 7 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      Toyota does indeed suck!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Toyota is smart!
      But has anybody seen a Prius driven by someone who has manners and can actually drive a car? They seem to be appliances for car haters, or "chic symbols of our very hip ecological stance" for the trendies.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Some hybrid cars eminently make sense. They do not use energy when stopped (and when warmed up) and save energy on downhills and when braking. The gas motor can run in a more efficient range when supplemented with electric power. My Prius over 21K miles is averaging 54.9 mpg. Those who get less either drive it agressively, well above the speed limit, or on lots of short trips - and ignore the bio-feedback from the gages on fuel efficiency. Attitude makes the difference. We would not be in Iraq if the US big 3 car makers heeded the mostly American research on hybrid vehicle technology 10-20 years ago. The big 3 squandered their chance and went for the quick buck instead of being the leaders they should have been.

      • 8 Years Ago
      ---"We would not be in Iraq if the US big 3 car makers heeded the mostly American research on hybrid vehicle technology 10-20 years ago. The big 3 squandered their chance and went for the quick buck instead of being the leaders they should have been."---

      That may be the dumbest thing I've ever read here. You honestly believe that Bush and many others would not have considered Iraq a threat... if GM made a car that got 55mpg (when driven slowly)?

      That's ok, Toyota will save the world. Just keep looking at that Prius, and continue to ignore midsize SUVs that get Suburban fuel mileage (4runner, FJ).
      • 8 Years Ago
      whats so great about the prius anyways? They claim it gets 55 mpg, when my neighbor owns one and only gets 38, and they are sore on the eyes....i just dont get it
      • 8 Years Ago
      I’m amazed how the plug-in feature is so looked up to. Making electricity by big power plants that use fossil fuel or coal is not very efficient nor very good for the environment. People seem to think that plugging in a car is the way to go. No way! It is more efficient to use a car’s engine than to generate electricity using a huge generating plant. Electricity isn’t provided for free nor does it exist without environmental costs. Just because you can’t see the environmental cost coming from your tailpipe doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Plug-in are not the way to go. They are very short sighted.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Nice irony, the pocket protector crowd does an article on the ultimate automotive pocket protector.