How Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD) Technology Works?


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What is Hybrid Synergy Drive?

Japanese automotive brand, Toyota, revolutionized the way a  hybrid car works. Toyota introduced a technology called Hybrid Synergy Drive which is a full hybrid technology; i.e with this technology, the car can cover a distance of 1.5 km - 16 km in various modes even without the engine running. Most of the other hybrids are called mild hybrids. They won’t work without an IC engine or the IC engine is running along with electric motors.

The Hybrid Synergy Drive is necessary for developing countries because of emission problems. Pure electric cars like Tesla, find it difficult to operate there because of the lack of proper infrastructure and electricity supply. Such hybrid vehicles will prove to be of a great worth there!



The concept of Hybrid Synergy Drive:

In Hybrid Synergy Drive, engines feature the 'Drive by Wire' technology. In this technology, there is no physical connection between engine and accelerator paddle. Drive by wire is totally controlled by the bunch of electronic sensors and the ECU. Furthermore, the throttle position sensor determines the power required by the engine at the given throttle response.

Most of the traditional engines don't work at optimum efficiency. So, the engine loses torque and precious fuel. Even the manufacturers have limited gears to work with such cases. But in case of Hybrid Synergy Drive, the e-CVT (electronic continuously variable transmission) or the computer selects best possible gear ratio at any given time. Thus, the engine runs at its optimum RPM resulting in more efficiency. This system can also shut down the IC engine when not required.



Hybrid Synergy Drive maintains proper co-ordination between wheel speed and engine. It tries to maintain constant engine RPM of 1500-2000; at which, IC engines are said to be most efficient.

Working of Hybrid Synergy Drive:

Hybrid Synergy Drive Equiped Engine
Hybrid Synergy Drive Equipped Engine (Courtesy: Toyota Corporation)

Typically this technology involves two electric motors or generators and one IC engine. These motors or generators named MG1 & MG2 can produce electricity or can utilize it to give power to the engine directly or indirectly.

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