Toyota gives Alicia Vitarelli an electrification education into EVs

ByAlicia Vitarelli and Heather Grubola WPVI logo
Friday, January 12, 2024
Toyota gives electrification education into EVs
Toyota gives electrification education into EVs

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The Philadelphia Auto Show starts Saturday and one automaker is hoping to get you ready for it by making it easy to understand electric vehicles, or EVs.

Toyota brought three vehicles from its electrical inventory to the 6abc to explain what each offers and what might work for you.

"The rate of EV adoption in this country is actually accelerating," said Drew Sobey, a Toyota Product Specialist.

More than one million new EVs hit the road last year alone. There are three types: a gasoline hybrid, a gasoline plug in hybrid, and fully electric. The gasoline hybrid, like the 2024 Grand Highlander Hybrid Max Platinum, is step one into electrification.

"There's a gas tank on the side fill it up and no plugs. There is a battery but the battery charges itself as you're driving down the road," said Sobey.

The battery gets the vehicle going so the engine doesn't have to work as hard.

"When you're first starting rolling its 100% electric power. And then as you said somewhere around three to five miles an hour is when the gas engine kicks in, you're going to be using a blend of gas and electric up until about highway speeds."

The second step is a plug-in hybrid, like the 2023 RAV4 Prime XSE.

"It allows you to drive it in an all-electric driving range when you want to. And then when you need to go on longer trips it does still have a gas tank."

In electric mode that vehicle has a range of 42 miles on a full charge for those shorter trips. Ranges vary for other makes and models.

The final step is full electric - no gas tank and a super quiet engine, like the 2023 bz4X Limited.

The range on that is 222 miles on a full charge. Again that is different for other makes and models.

Pricing for Toyota EVs start at just $23,000.

If the availability of charging stations is keeping you from going all in that's changing too.

"There are almost 5,000 fast chargers in this country. There are also features on board a lot of EVs that are going to help you map out a route that is going to include EV charging stations along the way. It can help predict when you're battery will be low and when you're going to need to stop and for how much time."

You can see all these vehicles and more at the Philadelphia Auto Show, which runs Saturday, January 13 through Sunday, January 21 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

"We're going to have our full lineup of vehicles you can come and see all of the 2024 vehicles as well as a sneak peek at some vehicles that are not quite available yet," said Sobey.