News / Motoring
Sunday, January 27, 2008
2008 Toyota Camry Hybrid
Image: courtesy of Toyota (

A Camry With Some Electric Power

In the 2008 Toyota Camry Hybrid, Toyota has integrated 'Hybrid Synergy Drive' into the Camry, which is the same technology as found on their Prius vehicle. The Camry Hybrid is started by pushing a button, and under low acceleration it is possible to silently drive away using just the battery powered electric motor. The gasoline (petrol) engine only starts once it is needed when the battery is low on charge, or when additional acceleration or speed is required (over 25 mph or 40 kph).

The Camry Hybrid has a total hybrid combined power of 187 hp (140 kW). A 40 hp permanent magnet AC synchronous electric motor is combined with a 147 hp 2.4-litre DOHC 16-valve WT-i 4 cylinder gasoline engine to create the hybrid synergy. There is also a smaller electric motor that acts as a starter motor and for power delivery and regenerative braking in conjunction with the high output electric motor. For battery power Toyota uses a 244.8 volt sealed Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) battery to store energy from the regenerative braking, created during all braking manoeuvres. Regeneration is provided by the Camry's small and large power delivery electric motors.

The Camry Hybrid shares its transmission technology with the Prius. The transmission is an ECVT type, standing for electronically controlled continuously variable transmission, that uses a Toyota engineered planetary gear power split device (PSD) coupled to a steel drive belt that transfers power to the front wheels. The PSD balances the power delivery between the larger high output electric motor and the gasoline engine. The transmission performs similar to a conventional automatic, but without any gear changes,

The EPA has rated the 2008 Camry Hybrid as an Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (AT-PZEV) and Toyota advertises the EPA fuel economy as 33 city and 34 highway mpg.

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