A hybrid car is a passenger vehicle that is driven by a hybrid engine, which is any engine that combines two or more sources of power, generally gasoline and electricity. There are two types of gasoline-electric hybrid cars; the parallel hybrid, and the series hybrid. Both use gasoline-electric hybrid technology, but in radically different ways.
In a parallel hybrid car, a gasoline engine and an electric motor work together to move the car forward, while in a series hybrid, the gasoline engine either directly powers an electric motor that powers the vehicle, or charges batteries that will power the motor. Both types of hybrids also use a process called regenerative braking to store the kinetic energy generated by brake use in the batteries, which will in turn power the electric motor.
Both parallel and series hybrids have small gasoline engines, and produce much less pollution than standard gasoline cars, but also produce much less power – hybrids generally produce between 60-90 horsepower, while the average gasoline engine probably produces about double that. To overcome this power gap, hybrid cars are constructed with ultra lightweight materials like carbon fiber or aluminum. Hybrid cars are also designed to be more aerodynamic than most cars, allowing them to “slice” through air instead of pushing it out of the way. All these factors combined equate to a super efficient form of car that gets excellent fuel economy and helps the environment by cutting down on pollution.
To compare hybrid car emissions levels with those of popular automobiles, see emissions. If you are interested with the hybrid solution to pollution, see pollution. If you are interested in buying a hybrid car, see our article, why buy a hybrid.
How Do Hybrid Cars Work
By: Steven Magill
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The new hybrid cars offer the best of both worlds. They provide the power of gas and the cost effectiveness of electric cars. These cars are the highlighted display of what technology from different areas can create when put together into one vehicle. Hybrid cars take some time to understand the functioning process.
Start by gaining an understanding for how an engine in a hybrid car works. Function starts by utilizing windings moved by an electromagnetic force. This force occurs when an electric current passes over the motor. When the polarity of the current runs one way, the motor turns one way. As the polarity changes course so does the direction of the motor current.
This is different from a traditional gas engine. Here the pistons push the gasoline through the crank which in turn provides power for the wheels to move. This process repeats over and over until the vehicle moves. As the gas pedal is pushed down, gas flows into the system and increases the power of the wheels and pistons.
Hybrid cars make use of both the traditional engine and the electric engine. The two forces come together to create a revolutionary car power. As the car begins to move, a computer sensor determines which engine type is more suitable for use at that given moment. In cases of high power, the gas engine is utilized. Likewise, when power levels can be low, the electric engine is utilized. On the electric side of things, as the car comes to a stop, the battery regenerates by conserving energy. As the power drains out of the electric battery, the gas engine takes over until the point that the electric battery can be recharged.
It can be hard to determine the difference then between gasoline cars and hybrid cars. When a gasoline car is idle, the gas still runs. When a hybrid car is idle, the motor switches from gas to electric. As the car comes to a stop, the energy is absorbed back into the electrical portion of the battery.
The only real drawback to a hybrid car is the weight. In addition to the engine weight there are add-ons that are needed to help the electric engine run smoothly. Outside of this factor, the two engines co-exist smoother than ever in a hybrid car. The end result is a worthwhile vehicle that is environmentally friendly and economical at the same time.
There are variations on hybrid car models. A selection of vehicles comes equipped with charge coils that allow California users to replenish electrical battery supply. Others utilize alternative fuel sources such as fuel cells. Despite the setting of the car, an owner can rest assured that it is needed to keep the hybrid running in peak performance condition. Each manufacturer tweaks the basic function process of a hybrid. This is what sets each hybrid apart from each other. Regardless of the individual tweaks the basic premise of a hybrid is the same. Create a car that is cost efficient and environmentally friendly so drivers can do their part to help save the environment.