There are more carmakers starting to offer hybrid cars for their customers. Changes are you are considering buying one. Here are all you should know about hybrid cars.
1. What is a hybrid car?
A hybrid car is a name for vehicles that utilizes both the internal combustion engine and electric motor. The electric motor can team up with either a diesel engine or petrol engine on a hybrid vehicle.
Hybrid cars are becoming more and more popular in current years
The hybrid technology was developed since the beginning of the 20th century. However, it is not until the last decade that the hybrid cars burgeon in popularity thanks to advance in mainstreaming the technology. By lowering the manufacturing price, car manufacturers are now able to introduce hybrid cars to regular car users.
2. How do hybrid cars work?
With both the electric motor and the gasoline engine at its disposal, hybrid cars can juggle between the electricity and fuel as its main source of power or combine both to pull it forward. The work is shared for both internal combustion engine and the electric motors, which can save the fuel and increase the fuel economy. In some cases, assistance from the electric motor can boost the performance of the car.
Hybrid cars run on both ICE and electric motors
On hybrid cars, the electricity will be stored in a high-volt battery pack. Unlike the all-electric cars which require the battery to be charged, the hybrid cars make use of the energy released via the braking by converting the kinetic energy of the car to electricity. Besides, hybrid vehicles also make use of the fuel engine to charge the battery.
3. What are the pros and cons of a hybrid car?
Hybrid cars are warmly welcomed by not only car users with interest in green technology but also the government due to its environment-friendly nature. Along with this dominant advantage, the hybrid cars offer a couple of advantages as mentioned below.
The hybrid cars can deliver a higher fuel efficiency rating, which makes them more environmental-friendliness. Moreover, electricity is widely known as a green power source, which lowers the carbon emission of cars.
Benefits from government
Due to its environment-friendly nature, the hybrid cars, as well as the electric vehicles, are available with a host of benefits granted by the government. Thanks to the credits and incentives, hybrid cars are becoming more affordable.
Lower dependence on fuel or electricity
In some cars, the hybrid system allows the car to run on electricity alone. This feature will reduce the dependence on fuel and offers more flexibility. If the cars are equipped with plug-in technologies, it means that the cars will be able to perform entirely on electricity, from the start toward the top speed. On the other hands, for hybrid cars without plug-in capability, the electric-only function will only be activated at low speed and when entering the higher range, the internal combustion engine will kick in. Thanks to the assist of the electric motor, the gasoline engine can be relieved from being the sole source of power and operate in a more efficiently.
Hybrid vehicles are highly environmentally-friendly
Apart from these advantages, hybrid cars also come with some disadvantages like lower performance, higher price and higher maintenance cost.
Less impressive performance
The hybrid cars put a strong focus on saving fuel and increase fuel efficiency. In order to push the fuel economy upwards, hybrid cars must trade off its performance. Compared to ICE vehicles, the hybrid cars might be a bit lag behind.
One of the big turn-offs of hybrid cars is its expensive pricing. Despite the car manufacturer’s attempt to reduce the cost, the hybrid vehicles retain a huge price gap against gas-powered vehicles.
Higher maintenance cost
Since hybrids cars combine the electric motor and the internal combustion engine, it will also require maintenance for both, meaning a higher maintenance cost. Moreover, maintaining a hybrid car requires a set of specific knowledge and expertise and not all the mechanics can do the job. It is one reason for marking up the maintaining cost for hybrid cars.
4. How does a hybrid car save energy?
Regenerative braking is one key feature of hybrid cars. While the conventional cars make use of the friction brake when braking and transform the kinetic energy into heat, hybrid cars are capable of seizing this energy and convert it into electricity which will be used to power the motor. This feature will help the cars to save energy which should have been wasted on the conventional models.
Hybrid cars can save energy effectively
Hybrids car also come with a feature called “idle-off”. Thanks to this feature, the hybrid cars will automatically turn off the gasoline engine when the car is stopped. While the car is not in motion, the electric battery will power the air conditioner and other function. This way, the idle-off reduces wasting energy for the engine if not needed, contributing to lower fuel consumption.
Power assist is another vital factor that makes the hybrids more fuel-efficient. This feature allows the electric motor to assist the gasoline engine in powering the car, which reduces the reliance on the internal combustion engine. It also means that the gasoline engine can be downsized and run more efficiently, lowering the fuel consumption of the car. Additionally, as mentioned above, the electric-only function allows the cars to run solely on electricity, which can lower fuel consumption significantly.