What Speed Does My Toyota Prius Switch To Gas?

Image showcasing 2010-2011 Toyota Prius Hybrid on paved road

The Toyota Prius is one of the most popular hybrid vehicles available on the market today. This unique car was originally designed to help reduce emissions in urban areas, but today you’ll find it all over the nation. This attractive sedan provides you with an environmentally friendly alternative to standard cars, and it was named the North American Car of the Year in 2004. So, how do you know what speed your Prius switches from electric to gas? Read on to find out more.

How it Works

Hybrid cars use two different engines to operate: an electric motor and a gas-powered motor. The vehicle switches between these two motors depending on the speed at which it travels. When you travel at lower speeds, the hybrid uses battery power to run. As speeds increase, the vehicle will switch over to the gasoline or diesel engine. This results in better gas mileage overall and a cleaner environment. So if you own a Prius, at what speed will you begin using the gas engine?

The Prius and its Features

To keep emissions low, a Prius typically can accelerate to speeds of about 15 miles per hour before it needs to switch over to the gasoline engine. This only happens when the car passes a specific speed. Once the gasoline engine begins operating, it does so in a narrow speed band. The Prius may also run on the gas engine when the battery power is low in order to keep the vehicle moving.

Once you’ve reached a steady 15 miles per hour, your Prius should continually run on gasoline until you decelerate and drive at a slower speed. However, there are some occasions when the Prius may need to continually run on gasoline. Some examples of this may include:

  • When you’re driving on roads listed at the standard 25 miles per hour speed and need to maintain this speed or higher
  • When the cabin of your vehicle needs to heat up on cold days or nights
  • If your Prius engine is currently below the normal operating temperature
  • If the car is on B mode, which indicates that it is selected for engine braking

In general, a Prius switches from battery to gas when the car reaches speeds of 15 miles per hour or more.

For all your hybrid vehicle repair needs, contact the hybrid specialists at Earthling Automotive online or call us at (415) 875-9030 today!