Understanding “how do hybrid cars work?” is essential information for new hybrid cars drivers. Hybrid cars rely on both an electric motor and a gasoline combustion system to provide the energy to move their vehicle. Depending on the hybrid car type, the gasoline engine might support and move the vehicle, but it might also be limited to keeping the battery charged.
Since introduced in 1997, Toyota Prius was a catalyst for change to many hybrid cars lovers. Automakers compete every year to design and produce more hybrid vehicles that do not rely on a combustion system. Instead, they rely on a combination of both combustion and electrically powered batteries.
This article provides you with all you need to know about how do hybrid cars work. In addition, it highlights the different types of hybrid cars and additional basic information essential for any no hybrid car driver.
What is a hybrid car? How do hybrid cars work?
The basic idea behind a hybrid car is to reduce burning gasoline as much as possible and reduce harmful emitting gases to the environment. With a combination of both an electric motor and a gasoline engine, hybrid cars generate energy.
Depending on the speed and the situation, the hybrid vehicle might rely completely on the electric motor, the combustion gasoline engine, or both. At the end of the day, when driving a hybrid car, you don't have to worry about fueling your engine frequently, and therefore, you will save a ton on gas costs. According to experts, hybrid cars also provide you with great performance under some circumstances.
In hybrid cars, you'll see another large high voltage battery pack that is completely different than the conventional battery you'll see in your vehicle. This battery gets charged from the regenerative braking that usually loses its energy as heat in any conventional vehicle.
The main purpose of the gasoline combustion system within the hybrid car is to continuously maintain the battery and prevent it from draining the charge. Depending on the hybrid car make, model, and year, the gasoline combustion system might have different roles. For example, it might only maintain the battery while other vehicles might be used to power the car at certain speeds. All hybrid vehicles intend to minimize the use of the combustion system as much as possible to maximize fuel economy.
What are the different types of hybrid cars?
While hybrid cars work with the same principle, not every hybrid vehicle is the same. There are plenty of types out there in the market, and here are some of the big ones that you might come across when shopping for your next hybrid car:
Parallel hybrid cars
One of the most common hybrid cars types is the parallel hybrid. In these cars, both the gasoline and the electric motor are connected to the same transmission that combines the power from the two sources and uses it properly depending on the situation.
The transmission could be continuously variable, manual, or automatic. If you've come across Chevrolet Volt or two in a Prius, you might be aware of the very common type of hybrid transmission, which has the power-split CVT.
In parallel hybrid cars, the experience, sound, and acceleration depend heavily on the type of transmission you chose and the gasoline engine size.
Some of the biggest names in the world of parallel hybrid cars are:
Series hybrid cars
The second common type of hybrid vehicle is the series hybrid. In this type of hybrid car, the electric motor is the only energy source connected to the transmission, which means that the gasoline system is not supporting or producing any power to move the wheels.
The gasoline engine is responsible for recharging the battery whenever needed and maintaining sufficient charge to keep the vehicle going at all speeds.
Since the gasoline engine is not responsible for generating the energy, the customer indicated that the series hybrid cars are closer to the full electric cars, which means that you won't feel any vibration or loud noises when driving this vehicle, especially if you accelerate.
On the other hand, other customers had a different opinion about the behavior of the gasoline engine. They indicated that you might hear that the gasoline engine is revving even if your car is running on a steady-state, which could be a little disturbing and might discourage customers from continuing driving the series hybrid cars.
Plug-in hybrid cars
The last type of hybrid car is the plug-in hybrid. In this type, these vehicles are equipped with a much larger battery pack to allow the vehicle to drive extended distances without needing a gasoline recharge.
According to customers and experts, the plug-in hybrid car feels more like a fully electric car where you can charge it overnight using a household outlet. You can drive up to 15 if not 55 miles without needing a second recharge with this sufficient charge. Thus, you'll notice a significant reduction in fuel consumption and better fuel economy when driving a plug-in hybrid car.
What are the disadvantages of a hybrid car?
Although hybrid cars might sound like an impressive innovative addition to the automobile industry, there are some disadvantages and drawbacks that you need to be aware of before deciding to purchase such a vehicle.
Here are some of the common disadvantages of hybrid cars:
Since hybrid cars do not hold a massive gasoline engine and even the electric motor is not super powerful, you won't get close to any larger gasoline-powered car with the combination of the two will. Therefore, for those who prefer high power, hybrid cars might not be the best option.
Since hybrid cars are relatively new to the market and involve multiple expensive components, it might be a little expensive and not affordable for many customers to purchase one. For example, gasoline cars might start at $5000 to get a decent vehicle. However, the cheapest hybrid car costs more than $10,000!
Issues with handling
With the addition of electric batteries, hybrid cars are a little heavier than corresponding gasoline vehicles. Therefore, when driving a hybrid car, you'll notice some issues with poor handling, impacting the suspension and the fuel efficiency.
More expensive to repair
Maintaining a hybrid vehicle is more expensive than the corresponding gasoline cars. This is because hybrid cars are still innovative, and there is a lot to be added to the markets. Therefore, you won't find every mechanic experienced with fixing such a vehicle, making it limited to expensive dealerships to get repairs done.
Troubles with batteries
When a hybrid car gets involved in a car accident, there is a high chance of trouble with the massive batteries. According to experts, batteries can leak lethal, making it more challenging to save passengers in cases of accidents.
Since the hybrid car relies heavily on the battery, running without a battery is almost impossible. To make things more challenging, replacing a hybrid car battery is very expensive, discouraging many drivers from purchasing such a vehicle.
Troubles with batteries disposal
Even if you could get a new battery, recycling the old battery requires some certain skill sets as you can't simply throw it in the spell waste landfill. Electric car batteries have many harmful components, and you must dispose of them the right way to prevent damaging the environment.
Is it worth buying a hybrid car?
Hybrid cars are very attractive, and they seem to save a lot on energy and fuel consumption. However, the question always remains it worth buying a hybrid car?
Hybrid cars bring you many benefits like saving the environment, reducing fuel consumption, and helping you achieve every noble goal. However, vehicles upfront costs can be a big challenge to many customers, discouraging them from purchasing a hybrid vehicle no matter how much they're excited about doing so.
If you are still hesitant about purchasing a hybrid vehicle, you must evaluate the overall long-term savings because hybrid cars' savings are not necessarily within the first couple of years. Therefore, it is important to do the math and calculate how much exactly you're going to save on gas over the coming years and compared it to the down payment price.
Keep in mind that you don't necessarily have to purchase the most modern hybrid cars or brand-new cars. The market is filled with decent used hybrid vehicles that, at a very good price. Thus, it doesn't hurt to shop around and see if you can get a good deal.
The other thing to keep in mind is that your old car can help you prepare for the down payment to purchase a hybrid vehicle. Even if your old car is not in great condition, companies like Cash Cars Buyer grantees to buy your car no matter what. Cash Cars Buyer removes your car within one to three days only and handles the cash payment immediately on the spot!
Is hybrid better than electric?
Hybrid cars and electric cars both intend to save the environment and save on gasoline consumption. However, both vehicles are a totally different story, and they both have their pros and cons here deciding on, which is better the hybrid or the electric depends heavily on your own goals and needs.
For example, if you are looking for an innovative vehicle that does not need any gas and wants to help improve your area's air quality by reducing harmful emissions from automobiles, you definitely encouraged to purchase an electric vehicle.
On the other hand, if you feel that electric cars are a little more expensive to you and cannot afford it, you can still take advantage of hybrid vehicles and achieve a similar goal without paying extra thousands of dollars.
Keep in mind that although electric cars are amazing and do not need any gas, there is a big challenge about how long you can drive with that electric vehicle before needing a second charge. Things get a little more challenging when looking for where to charge electric vehicles because you won't find fast electric charging stations around every location in your state.
Thus, we recommend that you perform a detailed comparison and consider all different aspects of both electric and hybrid cars before making a final decision.
Hybrid cars are amazing innovative vehicles added to the market to reduce fuel consumption and limit harmful emissions to the atmosphere. Understanding “how do hybrid cars work?” is essential for anyone planning to drive a hybrid car.
Hybrid cars rely on an electric motor and a gasoline engine to produce energy and get the vehicle going. However, depending on the type of hybrid car, the gasoline engine might only be limited to keeping the electric motor and the battery charged.
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