A Look at How Hybrid Cars Work

By: Anton Rowd

The Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) also known as the hybrid car is quite the economic wonder. Even as a work in constant progress, the Hybrid Electric Vehicle technology has truly done a lot to improve the gas-dependence situation. Hybrid cars has also saved consumers from having to spend so much on fossil fuels and has even helped save some taxpayer money.

What is it under the hybrid car hood that is seems to set it apart from the other cars? Let's take a peep and try to take a look at just how these wonders called the hybrid cars work.

A Combination

The keyword in all of this is the word "hybrid." An HEV basically brings out the best in both electrical power and fuel. By incorporating both an electrical motor and a gas engine, it allows the vehicle to switch back and forth between energy sources. Of course, the usual case is that the car really depends solely on the battery and electrical motors to run the vehicle.

So what is the gas for? Well, the vehicle will still need fuel to run a motor that charges the battery which in turn runs the whole car. But the beauty of this set up is that not much fuel is needed to charge up those batteries; thus, hybrid cars really only need so much fuel to fill their significantly smaller gas tanks and therefore it saves people from having to spend so much money on gas.

Go The Distance

To fully comprehend and appreciate how a hybrid car works, a spin in one with a full tank to compare results in terms of mileage and distance would be required. Definitely, you will see a lot of difference in vehicles running on electric motors. Going long distances is achieved in the way how a hybrid car operates. Generally-speaking, there are 3 technologies that allows this to happen.

The first innovative technology used in hybrid cars is the regenerative braking that applies resistance to the drive train. This in turn causes the wheels to slow down. The energy from the wheels turns the engine which in real time acts as generator which converts the energy wasted during coasting and braking into electricity. The electricity is then accumulated in a battery until such time when it is needed by other functions in the electric motor.

The next hybrid car technology used is the elect motor assist which gives additional power to aid the motor in acceleration like in speeding up or ascending higher terrains. This simply means that the smaller engine or electric motor is used. This motor is more efficient that the internal combustion engine that needs and uses up more gas.

Another hybrid car technology is the automatic start and shutdown. When a hybrid car stops for a stoplight, the whole engine shuts down as well. This helps the engine in conserving energy and fuel from running idle. When the vehicle is accelerated again, the engine automatically starts up. When combined, these three hybrid technologies create a vehicle that is simply to reckon with!

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