Hybrid Cars: How Do They Work

March 9, 2012


Everybody knows of the existence of hybrid cars. They are generally catalogued as expensive but highly efficient. Although hybrid car technology is still in its infancy, the industry is taking important steps to take the hybrid technology to the top.

The Power Trains of Hybrid Cars

The main difference between hybrid cars and traditional cars is that a hybrid car has two power trains: an electric motor and a gas-powered motor. The purpose is to use the electrical motor in low-power situations and the traditional motor in high power situations. The electrical motor derives its energy from a battery, while the traditional engine works with fuel.

Recharging of the Battery

It sounds great but how does it actually work? The car switches to the traditional engine once the battery is depleted or when driving conditions are difficult and require more power. The battery is recharged by the rotation of the traditional motor. There are hybrid car models which use the braking momentum and turn it into electricity through generators attached to the breaking system. This energy is then redirected to the battery which is thus recharged.

The Differences Between Power Trains

Unlike the internal combustion motors, the electric motors can produce maximum power from a full stop. They can also stop the car without using the brakes. A vision for decades, the electrical motor is very efficient when accelerating. However, in order to be powerful and provide energy for high power situations, they require huge, heavy and expensive batteries. Technology is advancing and it is highly probable that some invention will reduce battery size.

Meanwhile, hybrid cars provide the best of both electric engines and traditional engines. Naturally, hybrid cars are initially more expensive than conventional cars simply because they have two motors and large battery packs. On the long term, the fuel and maintenance savings make up for the higher purchasing price.

Types of Hybrid Cars

There are two main types of hybrid cars, depending on whether they can drive by relying entirely on electric power.

  • Full hybrid cars are mainly relying on the electric motor and they only use the traditional engine when the situation demands higher acceleration. They start off silently and they are very efficient as far as fuel consumption. The engine can even turn itself off at low speeds.
  • Mild hybrids on the other hand are working just the opposite and are using electric motor just to supplement power to the traditional motor. They are not as efficient as full hybrids as far as fuel consumption goes and they are a bit more expensive, as well.



Filed under: Electric Cars,hybrid cars

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1 Comment Leave a Comment

  • 1. Prius Accessories and Hyb&hellip  |  March 27, 2012 at 5:57 am

    […] fuel efficiency of hybrid cars depends entirely on batteries. Batteries are also the component that allows cars to be […]

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