With more and more drivers turning towards eco-friendly vehicles, it’s no surprise that there are more electric and hybrid vehicle options available than ever before. What exactly is a hybrid though? Learn more about hybrids as well as their unique benefits.
A hybrid is a vehicle that uses at least two forms of power and propulsion. In general, it combines a gas or diesel engine with an electric motor.
There are actually three different types of hybrid vehicles: parallel hybrid, range extender hybrids, and plug-in hybrids. Parallel hybrids are the most common, though plug-in hybrids are seeing a surge in popularity.
Parallel hybrid vehicles can be powered in three different ways, which is automatically selected by the vehicle. The vehicle can be powered by the gas engine alone (making it just like a conventional gas-powered vehicle), by the electric motor alone (consuming no gas and using the battery to power the electric motor), or by a combination of the engine and motor. Generally speaking, hybrids use the electric motor at low speeds, the gas engine for rapid acceleration and sustained high speeds, and technologies like regenerative braking to recharge its battery.
Plug-in hybrids are named after the fact that you recharge the battery by plugging the vehicle into an electrical outlet. These hybrids have significantly larger batteries than parallel hybrids, and typically feature an all-electric driving range that can handle most daily driving needs. Plug-in hybrids give you some of the benefits of full-electric vehicles while still giving you the benefit of a gas engine as backup.
Hybrid vehicles have a range of benefits, which only improve as the technology develops further. Here are some of the main benefits: