Hybrid Car Basics
A hybrid car is a car that uses both a battery and a gasoline engine to help power a car. These hybrids are becoming more and more popular with consumers because of the high gas prices plaguing the United States in recent days. Due to the two engine technology, these vehicles can get anywhere from 50-60 miles per gallon, as opposed to some SUVs that will only run at 15 miles per gallon. This is obviously a tremendous cost savings in fuel. However, because a hybrid car is more costly up front, it will take a few years to break even. A hybrid car can cost roughly 3 to 5 thousand dollars more than the identical gas-only model.
There are two different ways a hybrid car is set up. The first is a dual-power engine referred to as a parallel hybrid. This is when the battery and the gasoline engines are completely separate, yet work toward the same goal of making the car go forward as fast as possible. While the engines are completely separate they are connected in a lot of ways. They are both connected to the transmission and directly affect the car's power.
The other hybrid technology is called a series hybrid. With series hybrid, the gas engine is connected to a generator. The gas engine does not directly move the car forward. The gas engine powers the generator and the generator gives the power to the battery or the electric motor. The electric motor is connected to the transmission, giving the power to move the car.
The engine on a hybrid car, for the most part, is smaller than the engine in a fully gas powered car. That is why the battery and electric motor play such a key role. When your car needs the extra power, the battery will kick in and give your car that boost. The upshot is that you are not using any extra gas. Some of the newer-model hybrid cars even have little extras to help save on gas. For example, when the hybrid car is idle, the car will switch to the electric motor exclusively and not use the gas engine at all.
Every year, hybrids are getting lighter and more powerful. In some cases, the hybrid is more powerful than their gas-powered cousins. There isn't a hybrid car that is made in a V8, but the V6 hybrids are very powerful and use a lot less gas.
Finally, a hybrid car is much better for the environment. A lot of consumers are very concerned about the environment, for themselves and for their family's future. Aside from the gas savings, you will feel better that you are doing your part to help keep the world cleaner.