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Hybrid Electric Vehicles: What’s new 2021

Aug 09, 2021

2021 is a great year to make the switch to a Hybrid or Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle. Toyota has a fantastic model lineup including the Camry Hybrid, Corolla Hybrid, Highlander Hybrid, Prius, Prius Prime, RAV4 Hybrid, RAV4 Prime, Sienna and Venza.

More than 20 years ago, Toyota introduced the world’s first mass produced Hybrid Electric Vehicle, the Prius. Now, Toyota leads the way in innovation with many of your favourite Toyota vehicles available in Hybrid or Plug-In Hybrid models. Using less fuel and the ability to travel farther without going to the pump, there are so many reasons to switch to Hybrid.

Let’s dive into what makes these powerful and efficient vehicles so unique.

2021 Toyota Sienna Hybrid Minivan

How Do Hybrid Vehicles Work?

Hybrid Electric Vehicles combine gas engines and electric motors to create electricity as you drive. While you’re in motion, Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive automatically chooses the source and power combination that is optimal for the situation. Since Toyota Hybrid Electric Vehicles charge as you drive, you don’t need to ever plug them in.

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles work in the same way as Hybrid Electric Vehicles; however, they have the additional option to be plugged in. This allows the driver to extend their driving range, going more places without making frequent trips to the gas station. You can find this option with the Prius Prime and RAV4 Prime.

The Prius Prime allows you to drive up to 40km in EV Mode and charges in only 5 hours and 30 minutes with a standard household outlet.[1] The RAV4 Prime commutes up to 68km in EV Mode and charges in 2 hours and 30 minutes with a 240v32A outlet.[2] Both vehicles reach a top speed of 135 km/h.[3]

Benefits of Hybrid Cars

Why choose Hybrid or Plug-In Hybrid? The electric motor means you’re getting a smoother ride and more instant torque than regular gas vehicles. Experience the same great drive you know with Toyota, in a more efficient way.

No need to change up your normal routine, as Hybrid Electric Vehicles have the same maintenance schedule as gas vehicles. The great value of these vehicles doesn’t stop there. Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles allow you to get the best of both worlds! You can plug-in to get extended electric only range for short commutes – or drive as a regular gas vehicle for longer drives. The Prius Prime can travel up to 1035 km fully charged with a full tank of gas.

When you buy Hybrid or Plug-In Hybrid, you’re making an environmentally conscious choice. Since 1997, Toyota's Electrified lineup is responsible for stopping over 94 million tons of CO2 emissions across the globe. Joining the electrified family means you’re doing your part in the movement towards a sustainable future where Toyota has plans to reduce emissions of its new vehicles by 90% compared to 2010 levels by the year 2050. That commitment includes both electrified and gas vehicles.

Since 2001, 98% of all Toyota Hybrid Vehicles sold in Canada have not had their battery replaced. Now for 2021 models, this same confidence is backed by a 10-year/240,000 km warranty. With the electrified lineup, you can feel good about the vehicle you’re driving.

Feel safe and secure in any Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle from Toyota. You’re covered in any situation with standard Toyota Safety Sense. These vehicles are made to tackle the harsh Canadian weather and terrain and are tested in these conditions too.

Hybrids That Fit a Family

If you’re looking for a Hybrid that’s large enough to fit a family, a 7-seater Hybrid is just the right size. Fun, practical and great for its value, the 2021 Highlander can seat up to 8. It’s available in 4 Hybrid models: LE AWD, XLE AWD, Limited AWD, and Platinum AWD. These Hybrids are equipped with a drivetrain of 2.5 Litre, 4-Cylinder, with Hybrid Synergy Drive. Experience this SUV’s combined fuel efficiency of 6.7L/100 km.

As with many of Toyota’s Hybrids, Highlander comes with 4 different driving modes: Normal Mode, EV Mode, Eco Mode and Sport Mode. EV Mode is best for when you’re going short distances where you’ll be running only the electrical motor. Eco Mode which allows you to lower the gas pedal output and adjust the air conditioning for better fuel efficiency at the press of a button (you can find this on other Hybrids like the Sienna, Venza and RAV4 Hybrid). Sport Mode gives you a jolt of excitement by unlocking a boost from the hybrid system providing more exciting acceleration.

If you want a Hybrid but also need extra cabin space, an alternative to an SUV is the minivan. The all-new, all-hybrid 2021 Sienna comes in 8 different models in a combination of FWD or AWD. The best part is all of them are Hybrids with 4,247 litres of storage. The Sienna is built to accommodate multiple passengers, with options of both 8 and 7-seaters.

All the Sienna’s models have a 2.5 Litre 4-Cylinder engine with Hybrid Synergy Drive. FWD models have a combined fuel economy of 6.5 L/100km and AWD models have combined fuel economy of 6.7 L/100km. One special feature only available with the Limited grade is a 7” colour multi-information display with a Hybrid System Indicator that shows both regeneration status and output.

Versatile SUV's

As we move towards using sustainable transportation, Toyota has been committed to making Sports Utility Vehicles eco-consciously for the future. The Venza, RAV4 and RAV4 Prime are all available in Hybrid models.

Being a Hybrid doesn’t mean these vehicles lack power. The 2021 Venza is available in 3 models: LE, XLE and Limited, all with a 2.5 Litre, 4-Cylinder and Hybrid Synergy Drive technology that delivers 219 Net HP. Never compromising power for efficiency, this vehicle has a combined fuel economy of 6.1 L/100 km. Try the Venza in 4 drive modes: EV Mode, Eco Mode, Normal Mode and Sport Mode.

Venza’s on-demand AWD system is one of a kind. Adjusting to give you extra strength where you need it, 100% of torque is sent to the front wheels giving you even greater fuel efficiency. Similarly, you can also redistribute up to 80% torque to the rear wheels using an electric motor. This helps the driver even more in harsher weather and is great for Canadians.

When it comes to cutting-edge technology and performance, the RAV4 Hybrid and RAV4 Prime are exceptional Hybrids. The RAV4 Hybrid is available in 4 Hybrid models: LE AWD, XLE AWD, XSE AWD, Limited AWD. Experience the power of this SUV with a 2.5-litre Dynamic Force Engine and a combined fuel efficiency of 6.0 L/100 km. To give you a better ride, adjust the torque from 100% to the front wheels to an evenly split 50% on front and rear wheels. This will allow you to drive through the harshest of conditions.

The plug-in hybrid RAV4 Prime delivers even more powerful performance then the RAV4 Hybrid, with 302 Net HP. This vehicle is available in 3 models: SE, XSE and XSE with the technology package. Enjoy a larger battery that gets you farther with just electric power on its own at 6.0 L/100 km or 2.5 Le/100 km.

Electrified Sedans & Hatchbacks

Toyota’s original Hybrid is the Prius and comes in 4 unique models: FWD, AWD and technology upgrade packages within these two powertrain offerings. The Prius is particularly special as it is the only non-luxury hybrid passenger vehicle with available all wheel drive. The 2021 Prius is available as a Plug-In Hybrid, the Prius Prime.

Reduce CO2 emissions in style with the 2021 Corolla Hybrid. This Corolla Hybrid combines stellar performance with a combined fuel efficiency of 4.5L/100 km. The engine on this vehicle is a 1.8 Litre, In-Line 4-cylinder with Hybrid Synergy Drive. You can look forward to features like a blind spot monitoring, an 8” multimedia display, 7” Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and heated front seats.

2021's Camry is highly customizable with 14 models, including 4 Hybrids: LE, SE, XSE and XLE. These hybrid models include everything you love about the Camry and make it more intelligent and better for the environment. This vehicle is equipped with a 2.5 Litre 4-cylinder, Hybrid Synergy Drive engine, and a fuel efficiency of 5.1L/100 km. Additionally, if you’re looking for a Camry with sportier performance you have the option of upgrading to a 3.5-litre 6-cylinder engine in higher model grades (XSE V6, XLE V6).

Find Your Hybrid Match

With our lineup of Hybrids available in 2021, Toyota has a vehicle for every need. Make a positive impact on the environment with this innovative lineup as we move towards a more sustainable future. If you’re looking for the best electric Hybrid SUV or a compact sedan, this lineup comes with the newest technology and dynamic drivetrains.

If one of these Hybrid Electric Vehicles listed has caught your eye, be sure to request a test drive at your local dealership or build a model that suits your needs best.


[1] Charge time is for standard 120v household outlet. Always plug-in in accordance with Owner's Manual.

[2] Charge time is for 240v outlet (charging station). Always plug-in in accordance with Owner's Manual.

[3] Based on Natural Resources Canada 2019 Fuel Consumption Guide published ratings for both plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and battery-electric vehicles. Estimated combined range rating when fully charged and with a full tank of gas. Actual results will vary based on driving habits and other factors.