Japanese Toyota Aqua Hybrid Is Ahead of Its Time

Japan’s Toyota Aqua is like nothing you’ve ever seen. The Toyota Aqua hybrid is years ahead of its time. The hybrid vehicle uses a battery pack that could benefit every hybrid and electric vehicle. The former Toyota Prius C will change the way hybrid and electric batteries are made forever.

The Toyota Aqua Hybrid is the Prius C evolved

A green Toyota Prius c is on display at the 108th Annual Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois on February 19, 2016.
Toyota Prius C | Raymond Boyd via Getty Images

The Toyota Prius C debuted in 2012 as a supermini hatchback version of the Toyota Prius. In 2019 the Prius C was discontinued for several reasons, it was overall a bad car. Its only saving grace was affordability. After being discontinued in 2019, the Toyota Aqua Hybrid was born from the ashes of the Prius C in Japan.

The Toyota Aqua Hybrid provides predictable great fuel economy, but it also has a trick up its sleeve. The Aqua hybrid uses advanced battery tech that could be game-changing for the hybrid vehicle market. Hybrid and electric vehicle battery packs have a long way to go but Toyota just streamlined the Japanese Toyota Aqua hybrid battery pack.

According to MotorTrend, the Toyota Aqua Hybrid now uses a battery pack that is more compact and provides more power. It is a nickel-metal hydride battery pack that boosts power by eliminating the parts that separate cells in conventional battery packs. Bipolar electrodes allow Toyota to create a thinner battery module. Thanks to the bipolar electrodes this thinner battery module creates 1.5 times more power output than a normal battery pack.

These new nickel-metal hydride battery packs could make hybrid and electric vehicle batteries both smaller and more powerful. The Toyota Aqua Hybrid has evolved from the Toyota Prius C into something that could change hybrid vehicles forever. The Aqua Hybrid isn’t Toyota’s only game-changing hybrid either.

Which Toyota models are hybrids?

A blue Toyota Prius and a white Toyota Prius.
Toyota Prius Models | Toyota

Toyota is a pioneer in the hybrid vehicle game. The Toyota Prius debuted in Japan in 1997. It was one of the first hybrid vehicles that a major automaker mass-produced. The Prius was innovative, so it got a lot of attention, and with that attention came scrutiny.

The Toyota Prius was mocked and seen as weak or lesser than other vehicles. The Prius paved the way for a whole new market in the automotive industry. It remains one of the better hybrid vehicles on the market after decades.

The 2022 Toyota Prius L Eco base model gets 58 miles per gallon in the city and 53 miles per gallon on the highway. The Toyota Prius always boasted amazing fuel economy and has sparked major competition in the hybrid market, causing automakers like Hyundai to step up its fuel economy.

Today Toyota has several hybrid powertrain options in its lineup. Even its minivan, the Toyota Sienna, comes in a hybrid option. Toyota’s plug-in hybrid crossover SUV, the RAV4 Prime is quickly gaining popularity for its speed and fuel economy. Choosing a hybrid may seem like it only has upside, but beware, like anything else, there are pitfalls to owning a hybrid vehicle.

The complexity of the technology that hybrid vehicles use is also an issue from a maintenance standpoint. Hybrid vehicles have been around for a long time, but internal combustion engine vehicles are much more common. Buying a hybrid vehicle could mean maintenance that is both more costly and time-consuming.

What are the disadvantages of a hybrid car?

A blue Toyota Prius.
The Toyota Prius | Toyota

There are several disadvantages to owning a hybrid car that consumers can easily overlook. Affordability may not seem like an issue in the long run because you are saving money on gas. The reality is, hybrid vehicles can cost thousands more to purchase than their internal combustion engine counterparts.

Performance is another huge issue when it comes to purchasing a hybrid. Unfortunately, the difference in power and acceleration between internal combustion engine vehicles and hybrid vehicles becomes very clear when drivers get behind the wheel of their new hybrid. Hybrid vehicles may bring excitement to drivers because of the good they are doing for the environment. Whether or not that excitement compares to peeling off in a fast car on the highway is debatable.

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