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What is a hybrid? When we talk about hybrid cars we are typically referring to Hybrid Electric Vehicles although a number of other types of hybrid do exist. The hybrid electric vehicle uses a standard gasoline engine as a form of Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) but combines this tried and tested method of propulsion with the use of an electric motor to assist in the provision of power to the drivetrain. Hybrid cars have become more popular because of a combination of increased gas prices and because we, as consumers, have been made more aware of the impact that gas engine emissions have on the environment.

The Series Hybrid Engine. Typically, modern hybrid cars use a series hybrid engine. In this design, the gas engine is used to power a generator, rather than directly powering the engine. The generator can then be used to recharge the electric batteries or directly drive the transmission. The gas engine used is much smaller and more compact than in a standard car requiring less gas to run and when the car needs a little more power (for example, when accelerating or driving up hill) the electric motor lends a hand.

What Is A Hybrid

The Regenerative Braking System. Almost all hybrids also employ a Regenerative Braking System. When a standard gasoline fueled car brakes, a lot of power is lost because it dissipates into the atmosphere in the form of heat. In a hybrid engine, regenerative braking enables the electric motor to deal with the braking and to essentially collect all of the energy that would have otherwise been lost in the process. This energy is then used to recharge the electric batteries for further use.

Hybrid Four Wheel Drive. Some four wheel drive vehicles use a different method of hybrid propulsion. An electric motor powers the rear wheels and a more efficient gasoline engine powers the front wheels. Not only does this reduce gasoline consumption under normal driving conditions but it completely eradicates the need for a differential because the two sets of wheels are run on separate transmissions.

Diesel Electric Hybrids And Other Hybrid Technologies. More and more intriguing combinations of hybrid technologies, as well as new and improved ones, are being released on a regular basis. Diesel electric hybrids, for example, offer a number of advantages. Diesel engines are known to suffer less wear and suffer less when being used over longer distances. This means that gas consumption is often much lower. When added to a hybrid engine this means an even greater fuel saving when compared to gasoline powered vehicles. Plus, diesel engines can be run on biofuel completely removing even the use of diesel from these vehicles.

What Is A Hybrid? Hybrid cars are becoming more and more popular. As consumers come round to the idea of owning and running hybrid vehicles in their now many guises, manufacturers are seemingly rising to the challenge. It's no longer necessary to attempt to convert your own car as hybrid technology has definitely come of age and been removed from the back streets and back yards.

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