Hybrid cars have been in the U.S. market since late 1999. However in recent years, the right mix of fuel economy, affordability, and overall reliability has reinvigorated consumer interest in the Hybrid car market. For many shopping for an alternative fuel vehicle, hybrid vehicles act as a convenient alternative, as they can be regularly refueled like regular cars and need not rely on an electric charge to operate. Below, we explore what this new technology is, how it works, what the categories are, as well as the pros-and-cons.
Hybrid cars (sometimes referred to as "HEV" short for Hybrid Electric Vehicles) use more than one form of energy for power and propulsion. Most hybrid cars use 1) an internal combustion engine and 2) a battery-powered electric motor. Hybrid cars can be explained on further level by various categories, including Plug In hybrids, Parallel Hybrids, and Mild Hybrids.
Conventional vehicles are powered by a combustion engines, which run on either gasoline or a diesel fuel.
Hybrid cars use these same internal combustion engines—and can even be fueled like them—however, they also have an electric battery powered motor.
The car's basic goal is to maximize the use of the electric portion of the drivetrain to increase efficiency.
The benefit of hybrid vehicles lie in the fact that they can drive extended ranges (similar to their gasoline powered counterparts), while offering increased levels of efficiency. Hybrid cars are sometimes mistakenly confused with fully electric vehicles. While they do have electric motors, hybrid cars are mostly gasoline-burning machines that only utilize their electrical components to collect and reuse normally wasted energy. The exact methodology and extent that hybrid vehicles utilize their electronic components vary, as they are classified into different categories of hybrids (see below).
Hybrid-Electric Vehicles (HEVs) combine the respective benefits of gasoline powered engines and electric motors, creating a best of both worlds scenario.
They can be configured to obtain different objectives, such as favorable fuel economy, increased power, or a combination of both.
The following technologies are core components to hybrid cars: