What are Hybrid Cars?

Hybrid cars are vehicles or cars that use two or more power sources generally gasoline and electricity. This is why they are hybrid because they do not just rely on one power source to power themselves. The simplest hybrid car is the one that can be pedaled with an engine. In this type of cars, the two power sources are mostly the electric motor and internal combustion engine.

As much as the storage of energy for electric motor is readily availed by the battery, this engine generates its own power with the help of gasoline in the fuel tank. Hybrid cars combine the best features of combustion engine and electric cars. The above combination allows the electric motor to use gasoline engine more efficiently and cut down on the fuel usage.

How Hybrid Cars Work

There has been a lot of emphasis on hybrid cars. Many people prefer it since it is regarded as very convenient in most cases. While an electric car limits your driving range, a hybrid car gives you the ability to drive past more distance using less fuel. For instance, in the event that you are unable to charge your car battery you can use gasoline to power it. This takes care of energy issues needed to run in both ways. However, you need to learn how these types of cars really work for you to be more informed. The information here will allow you to further make a wise decision when buying a car. You will buy one that you are most comfortable with and one that will not give you many problems in any case.

Hybrid car includes Regenerative braking technology that cause wheel to slow down and converts mechanical energy produced to electrical energy and stored it back into the battery. Apart from that it assist gasoline engine by providing extra power to climb up the hills. It shuts off the engine when vehicles comes to stop and restarts when accelerator is pressed.

Toyota Prius is the most popular hybrid car and has the capability to switch between gasoline and electric engine. The electric motor, fitted inside the card is the primary source for moving the car at slow speed up to about 15 miles per hour. At higher speeds, the gasoline engine takes hold and becomes the primary workhorse for the car. When you need extra speed both engines work extra together and give it extra boost.


When you need to slow down and apply brakes, the hybrid car harnesses power from the brakes and stores them in the electrical generator. The generator produces twin benefits: firstly it puts extra load which helps in slowing down the car and secondly it convert’s the car mechanical energy into electrical energy and stores it back in to attached batteries.

Types of Hybrid Cars

There are two types of hybrid cars available that you can use or bear in mind when shopping for you next car. Both of them use gasoline-electric hybrid technology. These are:

  • Parallel hybrid cars
  • Series hybrid cars

The parallel hybrid car has both its gasoline engine and electric motor working independently to power the car. Both of these engines are linked to the transmission hence can run the car all at the same time. This basically means the car engine is completely supported by both the engines all the time.

The series hybrid car has a gasoline engine. The engine is there to provide the power needed to run the electric motor. It also can charge the battery. In short, this means, gasoline in this case will not power your car at any particularly moment. It will also not drive the car.

Advantages of Hybrid Cars

1. Low carbon emissions

2. Increased fuel efficiency

3. Better performance

4. Reduced operating costs

There are many reasons why hybrid cars with smaller engines are efficiently and highly preferred than those with large engines. For instance, those with large engine are heavier and hence will require more power to start and run it particularly when you are driving uphill. The pistons are also heavy therefore consuming more fuel when pushing them all up. With extra load of batteries, it tends to give you less mileage and produces less power. An average gasoline engine is able to provide power about more than double. Lastly, hybrid cars with large engine have more number of cylinders each of which burns a considerable amount of fuel.

Hybrid cars are able to charge their own batteries when reducing speed in the course of driving. When you brake, the battery gets charged by the momentum generated. This enables you to store up more energy that will be used in driving further distance than you could have without recharging the battery. In short, each time you slow down the car, you are in effect charging the batteries.

After Thought

When looking for a good hybrid car to purchase for your own use, ensure you know the functions that the car will service. If you will be carrying around large and heavy things, then you might prefer one that has heavier engine as it is more suited for those functions. This is due to its ability to power you about the distance. On the other hand, if it is just to drive to work, you may find a hybrid car with smaller engine to be more appropriate to consider. Other thing that you need to consider while purchasing hybrid car is that heavy weight of batteries and electric motor doesn’t get you the better mileage.

Get all the facts right before you choose a car to buy. This will help you get the specific car that will serve the purpose well without any regrets.






Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.