How Does a Toyota Hybrid Work? Unravelling the Technology Behind

Toyota has been at the forefront of the electrification revolution since 1997 when it pioneered the hybrid powertrain in passenger vehicles. The Toyota Hybrid System (THS) has since evolved into a series-parallel hybrid design, offering better performance and efficiency while eliminating the need for external charging. The THS components are designed for longevity, durability, and reliability, making it a leading option in the market.

When a Toyota Hybrid vehicle is started, the system’s onboard computers, the Electronic Control Units (ECUs), are powered up to manage crucial components such as relays, high voltage power distribution, and battery status. The THS utilizes a power split device and two motor generators to optimize power output, efficiency, and emissions. Additionally, Toyota has expanded its electrified lineup to include all-wheel-drive hybrid vehicles by incorporating an additional motor generator to the rear wheels.

To learn more about Toyota’s electrified powertrains and explore the full electrified lineup from Toyota, visit

When did Toyota introduce the hybrid powertrain?

Toyota helped start the electrification revolution in 1997 when it introduced the hybrid powertrain.

How does the Toyota Hybrid System (THS) work?

The Toyota Hybrid System (THS) is an evolution of the original ‘series-parallel’ hybrid design, where the wheels can be driven by the gas engine or the electric motor, or both. It does not need to be plugged in, as it completely charges the hybrid battery via engine power or regenerative braking.

What is the role of Motor Generator 1 (MG1) in THS?

Motor Generator 1 (MG1) is located directly behind the engine and is used as a motor to start the engine on demand. It also works as a generator to charge the hybrid battery once the engine is running.

How does Toyota create an all-wheel-drive hybrid vehicle?

To create an all-wheel-drive hybrid vehicle, Toyota engineers add an additional third motor generator directly to the rear, known as Motor Generator Rear (MG3). This standalone unit has no mechanical connection to the rest of the drivetrain but helps add extra traction, capability, and power at the rear when needed.

Where can I learn more about Toyota’s electrified powertrains?

To learn more about Toyota’s electrified powertrains, you can explore the full electrified lineup from Toyota at

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