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How Hybrid Cars Work.

With so much emphasis being placed on the environment, hybrid cars have emerged as one of the leading ways that we as individuals can do our part. Hybrid cars have a lot more to offer than being environmentally friendly and reducing our carbon footprint. Oil prices, and subsequently, prices at the gas pump, continue to rise at alarming rates. Filling up your tank costs considerably more than it did a year, six months, or even a couple of months ago. Hybrid vehicle technology is now well developed, and is recognized as being a serious advance from initial hybrids.

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How Do Hybrid Cars Work?

How Gasoline And Electric Cars Work

To look at how hybrid cars work, we need to take a basic look at how gasoline and electric cars respectively are used to drive a car.

  • In a gasoline powered car, gasoline is supplied to the engine by the fuel tank. This is then ignited and used to power the transmission which then turns the wheels giving the car motion. This is a very basic and simplistic explanation but it covers the essential steps in a car's drive train method when using a gasoline engine.
  • An electric engine uses batteries to provide power to the engine. The power is again sent to the the transmission which drives the vehicle. A fully electric car produces no emissions because there is no combustion involved in the driving of the vehicle, however electrical batteries have a comparatively low capacity and need regular recharging. They also may produce less power than a combustion engine (given current technologies) and provide a vehicle with less performance than a strictly gasoline powered engine. However, this is rapidly changing and soon we may find that hybrid cars offer better performance than their gas only counterparts (see ElectricCarsForSale.org).

Electric Batteries And Car Engines

Electric engines tend to use the motion of the car to help recharge their batteries, in the same way that a gasoline car battery is recharged. The standard car battery, though, is only required to recharge a small portion of the components in a gasoline car and is not required to drive the vehicle. This means a smaller battery can be used and the regular driving of the vehicle ensures that the battery remains charged and serviceable.

How Hybrid Cars Work To Combine Power Sources

A hybrid car combines electric motors and a gasoline engine to give greater performance and longer traveling distances than an electric car. At the same time, it utilizes the electric batteries to greatly reduce emissions and improve fuel consumption. The end result is a vehicle that is better for the environment (creating fewer exhaust pollutants) but still offers a viable means of transport to the owner.

Methods Of Combining Gas And Electric

Combining an electric motor and a gasoline engine is not as easy as putting them both under the hood and letting them do their own thing because they each require very different components to drive the transmission. Engineers and hybrid car manufacturers have developed a number of methods to get around this problem.

  • The parallel hybrid offers the transmission power from both sources simultaneously. The transmission is connected directly to the gasoline engine and also to the electric motor so that when the car is driven it draws propulsion power from both these sources of energy.
  • The series hybrid works very differently. The fuel tank is connected directly to a combustion engine where the gasoline is used to create combustion power. This power is not fed directly to the transmission as in a standard gasoline car. Instead, the engine is used to power a dual purpose generator. The electrical power created by this generator can then be used to either recharge the batteries or to drive the transmission and provide the car with the propulsion power it needs.

The Advantages Of A Hybrid Engine

One of the greatest advantages in creating a hybrid car is that the gasoline combustion engine can be considerably smaller than the one in a standard gasoline car. This can mean fewer cylinders, lighter parts, and a more efficient engine load. This also means that the car will use substantially less gasoline while being driven under normal circumstances offering better fuel consumption and less damaging emissions pumped into the atmosphere.

Increased Efficiency In Hybrid Cars

The most efficient hybrid cars not only combine two power sources to create the required drive but they utilize the advantages of a smaller engine to even further reduce gas usage (see hybrid-cars.org). Smaller engines can be created so that there are fewer pistons, pistons have less displacement, and the engine is much lighter requiring less energy to drive it.

How Hybrid Cars Work To Use Different Energy Sources

  • Generally, a hybrid car uses the petrol engine for constant and ideal driving conditions such as steady and constant speeds. Because it is much smaller, this already means a reduction in emissions while providing a more than adequate amount of power necessary to drive the car under these conditions.
  • The electric motor will usually come into play when the car is put under extra pressure and requires a little extra assistance. Driving up hill, accelerating, and driving in difficult conditions will normally mean that the electric motor will give an additional push and ensure that the hybrid car has ample power to perform any task.

Further Advances In Hybrid Technology

Further advances in hybrid car manufacturing have seen a number of other methods employed to improve gas consumption and reduce emissions. Lighter parts and improved aerodynamics mean less energy is required to give the car adequate performance. Regenerative braking actually captures energy that is usually dissipated as heat during the braking process. The energy is then used in place of the power derived from the combustion engine, to recharge the electric batteries.

Hybrid Car Technology

Hybrid cars have advanced considerably in a relatively short space of time and new techniques and processes are being evolved to further reduce both gas consumption and harmful emissions. Modern hybrid cars work in such a way that it is possible to greatly reduce your fuel consumption without having a detrimental effect on the performance or range of the car. As a result, hybrid technology is now available in hybrid SUVs (hybridsuv.com), hybrid trucks (hybridtruck.net) and may soon power hybrid semis (hybridsemitruck.com).

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