Many people choose hybrid cars not only because they want to decrease their carbon footprint but also because it can help save on insurance premiums. But have you ever wondered how hybrid cars work? Are they better than cars that run on combustion engines?
What Is A Hybrid Car?
A hybrid car, like the Toyota Prius, is an automobile that is powered by an electric motor plus a combustion engine. These two systems are combined and they work with each other to push the car to move.
The electric motor is powered by the battery which is also part of the car’s system. It is usually found at the trunk. It is used in different situations such as idling so that the car doesn’t burn gasoline. In case the battery is already low, the combustion engine powered by gasoline starts to assist in controlling the vehicle while also charging the depleted battery.
How Does It Work?
Essentially, hybrid cars have two engines. One is a motor powered by electricity and the other is powered by gas. They work together to save on the fuel used but not all hybrids are the same. Manufacturers of hybrid cars design them differently and there are variations of hybrids too.
Three technologies mainly affect hybrid cars and they are:
Whenever you step on the brakes, energy is lost. The kinetic energy that is pushing the car to go forward is redirected as heat energy that simply dissipates when the brakes are used. This energy is just wasted. This is just how combustion engine cars work.
Instead of wasting all that energy, hybrid engines are equipped with braking systems that turn them into electricity. This electricity is what charges the battery of the electric engine found on hybrid cars. This process is more commonly known as regenerative braking.
Electric Motor Drive Or Assist
The electric motor fitted in hybrid cars supports the gas engine. In some hybrid cars, the electric motor assists the combustion engine so that the car can be more efficient when using or burning gasoline.
Some hybrid cars program the electric motor to be solely responsible for moving the car from a standstill point. The combustion engine will assist the electric motor when certain conditions are met. These conditions may include reaching a certain speed or stepping on the gas pedal to a certain degree.
Automatic Start And Stop
Idling is one of the common reasons why fuel consumption is high. Car owners can significantly reduce their consumption when they turn off their engine when not needed. Hybrid cars do this automatically to save on fuel.
Should I Want A Hybrid Car?
With all the information we’ve just discussed above, you may be thinking if you want a hybrid car or should you want one. Well, if you want to save money on gasoline, then you will love a hybrid car.
Before making a purchase, there are still a lot of things to consider like your budget and how you’d want to use the vehicle. Nowadays, there are many hybrid cars and they differ from each other to suit different preferences of drivers and users.
The most common traditional hybrid vehicle is the Toyota Prius but you may also choose other hybrid versions like hybrid SUVs. Moreover, there are also luxury brands that are manufacturing their version of hybrid vehicles. Such brands include the BMW, Audi, Ford, Chevrolet, and many others.