The major benefits of hybrid cars – and the technologies underpinning them


People buy cars they benefit from – whether it’s merely the compliments they receive on the colour or body or the time it takes off their commute. The problem with this is that they are uninformed about the multiple advantages of owning a hybrid model or how a hybrid works. This article will share the benefits of driving a hybrid vehicle and explain the technology that makes a hybrid unique to the automotive industry.

What is a hybrid car?

A hybrid car is a vehicle that functions on more than one power source – for the most part: gasoline (regular gasoline or diesel) and electricity. The powertrain of a hybrid car brings the torque of the electric motor and the power of the gas engine together to provide drivers with a fuel-efficient and speed-functional mode of transportation that both saves drivers money and leaves behind a small carbon footprint.

What are the benefits?

Fuel efficiency: Hybrid cars paint the big picture of fuel-efficiency, but it takes more than combining electricity with gasoline to be able to do everything a hybrid does. One thing that vehicle owners discuss is how much it costs to fuel their vehicle and how often they need to visit the gas station. A hybrid optimizes the energy source to power the vehicle based on speed and driving conditions; so less fuel is required, meaning fewer fill-ups and fewer dollars put towards gas.

Financially friendly: Burning less gas means fewer fill-ups, which means more money in your pocket. Hybrid cars’ fuel economy is, on average, 30 percent better than regular gas-powered vehicles. Over time, the money you save from filling up less frequently will accumulate to noticeable amounts. In some regions, governments reward “green” choices by subsidizing hybrid and plug-in hybrids to support people for being environmentally conscious. The government recognizes that buying a hybrid car is productive to a healthy environment, so they use a cold-hard-cash incentive – something everyone wants – to entice people to purchase hybrids over non-hybrids.

Environment friendly: Because a hybrid car uses an electrical source to help power its powertrain, the car burns less gas. When gas burns, carbon dioxide is released into the air. As a result of burning less gas, there are less CO2 emissions into the air we breathe. This not only benefits the biosphere and the species that occupy it now but also it directly affects the future of our planet’s air quality as well as the quality of life.

Burning less gas also means a decrease in demand for gasoline. Reducing air pollution and reserving resources provides everyone with a healthier life, as well as the satisfaction of having the power to control your own carbon footprint.

Under the hood, there are underlining technologies that give you a fuel-efficient, financial, and green advantage. All unique technologies work together to provide drivers with the most efficient way around.

Underlining technology #1: Regenerative braking

In non-hybrid vehicles, you are wasting energy anytime you step on the brakes. When braking, the car’s propelling energy can be redirected to the car’s battery rather than converting into useless heat. The electric motor becomes a generator, sending electricity back to the battery. This can recharge your battery on the go and sustain the energy you are using.

Underlining technology #2: Electric motor drive/assist

Electric motor drive/assist is implemented when your car is moving at low speeds or needs extra juice – situations like cruising and accelerating. In these moments, the electric motor will use its energy instead of extra gas to give the car the kick it needs.

Underlining technology #3: Automatic start/stop

Wasted gas accumulates most when your car is idling – whether it be on purpose, or because you’re waiting for a red light to change. Automatic start/stop technology maximizes fuel-efficiency by turning your engine off when it is at a complete stop – eliminating idle time and wasted gas.

Parallel hybrids, series hybrids, and parallel-series hybrids

For the most part, there are two types of hybrids that are on the market. The first are parallel hybrids, where you have multiple options to power your car: the gasoline engine can work alone to power the car, the electric motor can work alone, or both can work together to produce power.

The other hybrids available are series hybrids. In a series hybrid powertrain, the gasoline engine is working solely on charging the vehicle’s battery rather than the actual momentum of the vehicle.

Toyota’s hybrid vehicle lineup features a mix of both parallel and series technologies. Prius and other hybrid-model powertrains have a power split device that connects the gasoline engine with the generator and electric motor. This allows all technologies to work together to provide the car with more energy to sustain greater fuel-efficiency. Fuel economy improves when a hybrid vehicle utilizes its electric motor.

It is important to note the main intent of hybrid cars is to be fuel efficient. Hybrids are built to fit the lifestyle of the everyday person. Now, with models of all shapes, sizes and colour, there just may be a hybrid that fits your lifestyle too. 

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