Hybrid cars are increasing in popularity as we head towards a more environmentally-friendly world. The evils of burning fossil fuels are being emphasized now more than ever, and people are looking for alternative means of powering their cars. An electric future seems to be the surest path to follow, but there is still some hesitation wrought by their inability to provide a limitless range. Hybrid cars can be seen as a cross between the present and future. These cars combine an electric motor and a conventional engine (usually petrol or diesel) to power the car, which comes with a number of important advantages. However, before discussing the benefits of driving around in one, it is important to talk about how they work and the different types available.
Hybrid cars come in three main forms; full hybrids, mild hybrids, and plug-in hybrids. Full hybrids are those cars whose wheels can be powered by an electric motor, engine, or a combination of the two. Also called parallel hybrid cars, full hybrids use the fuel engine when the electric charge is low and at high speeds and the electric motor at low speeds. You do not need to plug in full hybrids because the fuel engine charges the battery when its charge is low. Mild hybrids have a large battery and electric motor on top of the engine. The battery and electric motor power the car’s electrical systems and free the engine to use more of its power to drive. Most electric motors in mild hybrids can’t power the vehicle but can boost the engine’s power. Mild hybrids also do not need to be plugged in as the battery charges when the car breaks or coasts. Plug-in hybrids have the largest batteries and can be plugged in at home or the several charging stations available around the country. Having large batteries means that the car can drive on electricity for a while before the fuel engine kicks in to help.
How Hybrid Cars Work
Hybrids combine the benefits of electric motors and fuel engines. The important areas of performance to know about are automatic start/shutoff, dual power, and regenerative braking. Hybrid cars shut off their engines automatically when they come to a stop and restart them when you press the accelerator down. They have the electric motors to thank for this. The extra power an electric motor provides gives room for the installation of a smaller engine. The car’s battery works to reduce idling when the engine stops and power secondary loads. The combination of these features makes the cars more efficient fuel consumers without undermining their performance. The work between the two power sources depends on driving circumstances. The electric motor is usually in use at low speeds, and the fuel engine kicks in when you accelerate and increase speed. At this point, the battery starts recharging itself using the engine’s power as the electric motor takes on a reserve role and works to assist the engine on climbs or accelerations. As intuited in the section before, you cannot charge most hybrids as the battery gets charged by the engine and regenerative braking. The whole process involves transforming the moving car’s kinetic energy into electrical energy. This is possible because the electric motor simultaneously powers the vehicle and resists its motion. This resistance is what slows down the car as it charges the battery.
Some of the best benefits of owning a hybrid car include:
This is perhaps one of the most important advantages as hybrids run cleaner and come with better gas mileage. Together these factors make hybrids environmentally friendly. The twin-powered engines conserve energy and cut fuel consumption. Therefore, you can rest assured that you will always leave a smaller carbon footprint whenever cruising around in a hybrid. Traditional fully fuel-powered cars give out tailpipe emissions that cause considerable damage to the environment, but hybrids emit less carbon as they use fuel more efficiently and conserve more energy. This ties in with less dependency on fossil fuels. The electric motors and large batteries in hybrids reduce their dependence on fossil fuels.
Require Less Maintenance
Hybrid care engines are likely to wear and tear significantly less than standard vehicles as they use a combination of an ICE, electric motor, and high voltage battery. This means that your engine is likely to work less and avoid the typical wear and tear and thus require fewer repairs and maintenance. With that, maintenance costs are highly dependent on the specific make and model you own.
Higher Resale Value
Gas prices are on a meteoric rise that is not expected to stop any time soon, which has led to increased demand for fuel-efficient cars like hybrids and alternatives like electric cars. This increase in demand has thus increased the resale value of hybrids, so you should expect a better return on your initial investment compared to a standard vehicle should you decide to sell or trade your car.
No “Range Anxiety”
Range anxiety is the fear of failing to make it to your destination because of a low battery charge. This fear is especially prevalent among owners of fully-electric cars. Charging stations are being built all over the country, but the demand may be far from being met depending on where you live. The same is not true for hybrid car owners, as the car will rely on the ICE for power when the battery is running low on charge. Therefore, hybrid car owners have less cause for worry as gas stations are available in adequate numbers.
Hybrid cars recharge whenever you apply the brakes. The internal process described above activates and uses the car’s kinetic energy to recharge the battery, which keeps you from the necessity of stopping to recharge the battery periodically.
Jurisdictions all around the world support hybrid cars with a number of incentives and credits that make them more financially efficient. Hybrid cars are usually exempted from congestion charges and have lower annual tax bills, which makes it cheaper to drive them.
Purchasing a new standard car gives you access to several warranties. Buying a hybrid will give you more warranties that give you more elbow room.
Built from Light Materials
Hybrids are made of light materials that reduce the load on the propulsion system, meaning they need less energy. Most come with smaller and lighter engines, which also saves on energy.
Hybrid cars have been around since the world started becoming environmentally conscious. It became clear that we cannot keep running on fossil fuels as they have a significant carbon footprint that threatens to accelerate global warming. The future is for renewable energy, but the technology needed to ensure that is still in need of massive improvements. Come hybrids. These cars act as a bridge between the present and the future as they run on both a fuel engine and an electric motor, alternating between the two depending on the driving conditions. The advantage of hybrid cars is that they are environmentally friendly, have higher resale values, come with several tax and financial benefits, are cost-effective, and you do not have to worry about getting to your destination like fully-electric car owners.