Archives – March 15, 2012

Hybrid Cars by Categories

Hybrid cars, just like all other types of vehicles, can fall under a certain category depending on their body style. Therefore, there are hybrid vehicles that can be considered sedans, coupes, pickups, SUVs, luxury, as well as vans. Here are some important tips on which models are mostly appreciated in each category.

Sedan Hybrid Vehicles

Nissan Leaf is considered the world’s first affordable and zero-emissions vehicle. An electric motor that generates 80KW and 280 Nm, and lithium-ion batteries that generate 90kW power it. It can be charged at 80% of its capacity in less than 30 minutes. It has a driving range of 100 miles and it is characterized by a V-shaped aerodynamic design.

Chevrolet Volt is a series hybrid that is completely different from a parallel hybrid. It has a driving range of 40 miles and can be recharged on 110V power in 8 hours and in 3 hours at 220 V power.

The same category of hybrid cars includes Toyota Prius Liftback, Honda Civic Hybrid, Honda Insight, Lexus Ct 200h, and more.

Coupe Hybrid Cars

Honda CR-Z Hybrid falls in line with 35 mpg city and 39 mpg highway as far as fuel efficiency. It employs the hybrid system called Integrated Motor Assist, specific to the manufacturer. An electric motor is integrated between the engine and transmission.

In the same category of vehicles, you have Mitsubishi iMiEV, Fisker Karma, and others.

Pickup Hybrids

GMC Sierra Hybrid. Although hard to imagine a pickup as a hybrid vehicle, the GMC Sierra can be a big surprise. It comes with the same system that is used on the Chevrolet Silverado. The pickup is propelled by a 6.0 liter V8, 322 HP gasoline engine, a two-mode transmission, with a 300 V nickel-metal battery. The transmission of the GMC is referred to as an electrically variable transmission or EVT and is responsible for most of the fuel efficiency. The EVT consists of two electric motors with a 60 kilowatt power output for each of them.

In the same category you can check out the Ford Transit Connect (electric), Ford F150, and Chevrolet Silverado.

SUVs Hybrid Vehicles

Ford Escape Hybrid is a SUV that has a 155 HP, 2.5-liter lean burning gasoline engine under the hood. In addition, it also comes with a permanent magnet motor which generates 94 HP. A planetary gear sends the combined output to the continuously controlled transmission that moves the front wheels.

In the same category of hybrid SUVs you have the Lexus RX450h, Toyota Highlander Hybrid, and others.


1 Comment March 15, 2012

How Are Hybrid Cars Efficient?

Hybrid cars are especially known for fuel efficiency and low emissions. These are two aspects that people associate hybrid vehicles with; and they are correct. However, very few actually know the mechanisms that trigger the efficiency behind hybrid cars. Here is some important information on hybrid cars, their benefits, and how they do it.

  • Hybrid vehicles are the perfect combination of a smaller size conventional engine and an electrical motor. What makes the hybrid an incredible achievement is the fact that it can use both engines to accomplish the most power when needed. It basically generates power by choosing between the most appropriate solutions given the driving circumstances.
  • The battery is essential for the hybrid car. The electric battery not only stores, but it absorbs energy that it reuses when called for. Energy is additionally generated from braking and it is stored in the battery for future use. The battery becomes the perfect tool to generate electricity when needed.
  • Most hybrid vehicles shut down the engine in traffic stops. In addition, they do the same in any other idle periods such as coasting. Thus, electricity use is maximized and fuel efficiency as well.
  • As you probably noticed, hybrid cars have a special design. Aerodynamics or the shape of a car, makes it go slower or faster through the air and thus consuming more, or less energy. Adequate aerodynamics can maximize fuel efficiency and optimize car performance.
  • Tires play a great role in hybrid cars. They are carefully chosen to provide low rolling resistance. Just like aerodynamics, tires can slow down a car. If a car slows down, you need more energy to propel it. More energy is fuel, no matter what the power source. Therefore, hybrid car manufacturers are choosing low rolling resistance tires that allow the car to drive smoothly on the road using the least amount of fuel.
  • Reducing mechanical losses by adopting a smaller engine. That is a first and most important issue. The same mechanical losses are reduced by using various auxiliaries as needed and when needed. Therefore, air conditioning system, power steering, and others are used when necessary and at the optimum level required by the existing circumstances.

These are the features that contribute to the efficiency of hybrid cars. It is obvious that particular models have specific techniques to become efficient. Still, most hybrid cars work in a similar fashion and employ the same means to be efficient. How efficient they are is what eventually differentiates them.


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