While driving home yesterday, we did our CommuteCast
where we described the display of the Hybrid Synergy Drive usage. Traffic wasn't so bad and I had our digital camera, so I took a few pics of the touchscreen at different times to illustrate the type of information it provides. You can see a larger view of these three pictures by clicking on them.
This first picture shows the basic functions and status of the Hybrid Synergy Drive. You can see the battery indicator in the center, which at this time shows 6 of 8 "bars", so we're roughly at a 75% capacity level. You can also see that neither the gas engine, nor the two electric motors are in use. At this point, we were just idling in traffic, as indicated by the "Current 0.0 MPG" at the bottom of the screen.
I took the next picture as we started moving. Since we were at a standing stop, both the gas engine and the electric motors were kicking in. The brown arrows going from the engine to the front wheels indicate the power created from the standard V6 engine. The orange arrows from the front electric motor are also powering the front wheels at this time. The use of the gas engine is evident by the poor gas mileage at this point.
This last pic was taken after I got up to speed and took my foot off of the gas pedal. I guess I should say "off the accelerator" since it's NOT just a gas pedal! ;) We started coasting so I snapped a pic showing the return of energy to the battery. Notice that all four wheels, or both axles are returning energy and our Current MPG is maxxed out!
The central touchscreen display adds tremendous value to the Hybrid, but is only included in the $2,000 DVD Navigation option. I'd like to see Toyota make this display standard at a much lower price because not everyone needs the nav system. We'll follow up with more pictures and information on the other functions in the future.