A hybrid minivan is a great way to get excellent fuel economy and still drive a larger vehicle. Because of the weight and general size of a minivan, it is not economical for them to run completely on alternative fuel,s though hybrid vehicles are the best compromise for this. Another excellent choice for great fuel economy is a diesel minivan and these are also becoming more common in the market. The following models offer different drive trains and options.
Current Available Models
This Estima is a new hybrid minivan produced by Toyota. It uses a gasoline engine and an electric motor. It is front wheel drive and uses automatic transmission. The miles per gallon are approximately 40 mpg. This fuel economy is easily double of gasoline powered minivans. This Sienna hybrid from Toyota continuous variable transmission that uses regenerative braking to power the electric motor. It is also possible to plug other electrical appliances such as a laptop for emergency charging. The engine is very similar to what is found in the Highlander and other SUVs. In conjunction, the electric and gasoline engine can go from 0 to 60 mph in 8 seconds and produce up to 270 hp. This was the first hybrid minivan to be released in the US.
Hybrids Coming to the Market Soon
This hybrid offers some of the best gas mileage of any offering 57 mpg. This excellent fuel economy is due to the diesel hybrid, as it does not run on gasoline at all. It also has very low emissions with 99g per km. This vehicle was just released in Europe and will soon be available elsewhere. This is a small minivan, but is one of the greenest minivans to still retain excellent performance. Toyota is releasing this new Prius model in 2011. This Prius will have 3 rows and can fit up to 7 passengers. This is one of the first hybrids to contain a lithium ion battery. This lithium battery improves the fuel economy even more and is expected to hit the market in 2012. The actual gas mileage of this vehicle has yet to be released. This hybrid from Mazda is being test leased and should soon be outon the market. It contains a hydrogen rotary engine as well as an electric motor. The engine can also burn gasoline if necessary. The engine is also range extending, as it can generate electricity. This hybrid is based on the Premacy platform and uses a lithium ion battery. It can hold up to 5 passengers and has a range of 125 miles.
The system used in this minivan is found in the Chevy Volt. The minivan has a range of 32 miles on the electric motor. Once the electric engine runs out, the engine generator can extend this range to 300 miles. This vehicle is set to go into production and should be available in the next year or so. This vehicle is not available until 2013 and currently only a concept model. Ford has taken their popular C-max and converted it to a hybrid minivan. This is a hybrid electric and full plug in hybrid. The actual mpg is not yet released, but it should be quite impressive, as the C-max hybrid utilizes the latest hybrid technology.