It seems as though the day of the gas guzzling SUV may be near. More and more hybrid cars can be seen throughout the cities and along the highways as consumers are getting smarter and getting fed up with rising gas prices. Hybrid car sales are on the rise, while SUV sales are plummeting . The auto manufacturers have plans to release more and more hybrid vehicles and are focusing much of their research and development on hybrids and alternative fuel vehicles. Learn more about hybrid cars, technology, benefits, types, and more at HybridVehicles.net.
What is a Hybrid Car?
Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) combine the internal combustion engine of a conventional vehicle with the battery and electric motor of an electric vehicle, and attain twice the fuel economy of conventional vehicles. This combination offers the extended range and rapid refueling of a conventional vehicle, with a significant portion of the energy and environmental benefits of an electric vehicle. The practical benefits of HEVs include improved fuel economy and lower emissions compared to conventional vehicles. Hybrid cars are good for the environment, as they can reduce smog by 90 percent and they use far less gasoline than conventional cars. Hybrid cars are economical and can get up to 55 to 60 mpg in city driving, while a typical SUV might travel 15-20 miles per gallon, or use three times as much gas for the same distance! Hybrid cars are better than all-electric cars because hybrid car batteries recharge as you drive so there is no need to plug in and most electric cars cannot go faster than 50-60 mph.
How Do Hybrid Cars Work?
A hybrid propulsion system has five major components: engine, generator, electric motor, battery energy storage and energy control system. The gasoline or diesel engine spins the generator to produce electricity. Most of the energy produced goes into the electric motor to move the vehicle. Excess energy goes into storage. When more energy is needed than can be produced by the generator (such as climbing a hill), the batteries supplement the generator. All this is managed by the computerized energy control system. When less energy is needed, the computer directs it back into the batteries. The energy-management activity is not noticeable to the driver. Since it only spins a generator, the engine can be much smaller than what is used today, and its fuel economy is greater. Also, emissions are greatly reduced since the engine typically operates in a small horsepower range.
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