One of the benefits of driving a hybrid is its fuel efficiency. This is because hybrid vehicles have an electric motor that allows the car to travel without the need for gas under certain speed limits, after which the regular motor will take over, thus conserving the amount of gas used in our daily commutes.
Well it seems that Toyota is hoping to increase the efficiency of its hybrids and has recently revealed that they are developing a new design of semiconductors. This new design is said to help boost the efficiency of the company’s hybrid vehicles by as much as 10%. Toyota will not be working alone and will be working in-house technology partner, Denso, to help test the semiconductor’s real-world gains in road trials later this year.
This is done by taking a look at the power control units (PCU) of their hybrid vehicles. The PCUs basically help to govern the flow of electricity in the vehicle, and according to Toyota, PCUs account for 25% of the total electrical power losses, with 20% down to semiconductors. This is why by improving the semiconductors in hybrids, it will make them more efficient and could increase their miles per gallon (MPG).
No word on when Toyota will be introducing these changes to future Prius hybrid vehicles, but Toyota did mention that they will be boosting development activities so that the technology can be implemented as soon as possible. It should also be noted that Toyota’s advancements in the semiconductors can also be applied to other electronics as well, not just hybrid vehicles, so it will be interesting to see what will be the results of this.