Research and development of cleaner and more efficient vehicle technologies has been ongoing for the past few decades. Much of this research started in response to the oil shocks of the 1970s, which triggered concerns about rising fuel costs and growing dependence on imported fuel.
The urgency of those concerns was lost as fuel prices declined in the 1980s and 1990s. At the same time however, rising concerns about vehicle contributions to air pollution and global climate change added a new dimension to the issue.
You asked for it – you got it : Hybrid Cars
They’re the darlings of the go-green movement. One of the many solutions to finding ways to preserve Mother Earth, hybrid cars are the epitome of social consciousness. With their complex dual engines and their knack for getting rave reviews, they’re like the popular kids in school that everyone talks about and they’re pretty darn cute.
Hybrids are an alternative to driving gasoline-powered vehicles. They don’t need as much fuel to run because they’re able to rely partly on an electric motor for power. Proponents say hybrid cars have the potential to help reduce our country’s dependency on oil thereby adding resistance to pollution.
How do hybrid cars work?
There are three different types of hybrids and each works in a different way.
In this most common design, the electric motor(s) and gasoline engine are connected in a common transmission that blends the two power sources. That transmission can be an automatic, a manual, or a continuously variable transmission (CVT).
One very popular hybrid transmission is a power-split CVT, which is used by the Toyota Prius and Chevrolet Volt. Transmission type and the size of the gasoline engine are the main factors that determine how a parallel hybrid will accelerate, sound, and feel. Brands that use the parallel design include Toyota, Lexus, Hyundai, Kia, Ford, Honda, Lincoln, Nissan, and Infiniti.
In this design, the electric motor(s) provides all the thrust, and there is never a physical mechanical connection between the engine and the wheels. The gasoline engine is just there to recharge the battery. This results in a driving experience that’s more indicative of an electric car, with smoother, powerful acceleration. There’s typically less vibration when the gasoline engine engages.
However, that engagement doesn’t always happen in concert with what your right foot is doing (remember, the battery is making the demands), so the engine might be revving up while the car is cruising at a steady speed. Some find this behavior disconcerting. The BMW i3 with the range extender is an example of a series hybrid.
A plug-in hybrid enhances the conventional hybrid concept with a much larger battery pack that, like an electric car’s, must be fully recharged using an external electricity source—from your home, office, or public charging station.
This greater amount of energy storage is like a larger gas tank: It allows for extended all-electric driving (between 15 and 55 miles depending on the model) and can significantly reduce fuel consumption. In fact, if you have a short commute and recharge nightly, you’ll be running on electricity most of the time. Should you deplete the all-electric range, the car basically reverts to being a conventional parallel hybrid.
Advantages of a Hybrid Car
Here are a few of the top advantages of having a hybrid car:-
1. Environmentally Friendly
One of the biggest advantages of a hybrid car over a gasoline-powered car is that it runs cleaner and has better gas mileage, which makes it environmentally friendly. A hybrid vehicle runs on twin powered engine (gasoline engine and electric motor) that cuts fuel consumption and conserves energy.
2. Financial Benefits
Hybrid cars are supported by many credits and incentives that help to make them affordable. Lower annual tax bills and exemption from congestion charges come in the form of less amount of money spent on the fuel.
3. Less Dependence on Fossil Fuels
A Hybrid car is much cleaner and requires less fuel to run, which means fewer emissions and less dependence on fossil fuels. This, in turn, also helps to reduce the price of gasoline in the domestic market.
4. Regenerative Braking System
Each time you apply the brake while driving a hybrid vehicle, it helps you to recharge your battery a little. An internal mechanism kicks in that captures the energy released and uses it to charge the battery, which in turn eliminates the amount of time and need for stopping to recharge the battery periodically.
5. Built with Light Materials
Hybrid vehicles are made up of lighter materials, which means less energy is required to run. The engine is also smaller and lighter, which also saves much energy.
6. Assistance From Electric Motor
The electric motor assists the internal combustion engine in case of accelerating, passing or climbing a hill.
7. Smaller Engines
The gasoline engines used in hybrid cars are usually small, light, and highly efficient as they don’t have to power the car alone.
8. Automatic Start and Stop
In hybrid cars, the engine is automatically shut off when the vehicle is idle and starts when the accelerator is pressed. In comparison to traditional hybrid vehicles, PHEVs can drive longer distances at higher speeds. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles have lower energy emissions because they emit only water vapor and warm air.
9. Electric-Only Drive
Electricity can drive the Hybrid vehicles entirely. This usually happens while moving at low speeds or when the engine is idling at a stoplight or when the engine starts up. Normally, the internal combustion engine starts operating only at higher speeds, where it has more efficiency. This helps increase the overall fuel efficiency of the vehicle.
10. Higher Resale Value
With a continuous increase in the price of gasoline, more and more people are turning towards hybrid cars. The result is that these green vehicles have started commanding higher than average resale values and you can always sell it at a premium price to buyers looking for it, just in case you are not satisfied with your vehicle.
There are many advantages to owning a hybrid car. The one you will like the best is how it helps you to control your budget as gas prices continue to get higher. Owning and driving a hybrid car impacts the environment. It reduces the dependence on fossil fuels and lowers your carbon imprint on the environment.
Future of hybrid
Owning a hybrid of the future will offer several benefits. In fact, hybrid with a large, powerful electric motor will be more fun to drive than a car equipped with only a small fueled engine. Consumers will buy efficient vehicles not to only help the environment, but because they will be fun to drive and less expensive to own and operate. The hybrids of the future will circumvent the trade-off between power and efficiency that current internal combustion engine powered cars are subject to.
15 Best Hybrid Cars for 2020
The best Technology is yet to come.