You are already used to gasoline cars and regarding electric cars, you must have seen these or may be already using one. Now, how about getting the best from both these cars? Yes, when you combine the virtues of a gasoline and an electric car what you get is a hybrid car. A hybrid car is a type of vehicle which has a gasoline engine as well as an electric motor. This way you are getting the best from a fossil fuel powered engine and a battery powered engine. Let’s check out how hybrid cars work.
Hybrid Electric Cars
Normally when we talk about traditional hybrid electric cars we mean plug in hybrid cars which totally depend on batteries. It is actually a full electric car which has an electric motor that provides power to the wheels. There are batteries which provide electricity to the motor. Of course there is a separate gasoline engine which acts as a generator. It is a small engine with10 or 20 horsepower. It is designed in such a way that it works at a particular speed so as to provide maximum efficiency. The basic purpose of this engine is to supply the car with enough power at cruise speed. When there is need for acceleration extra power is supplied by the batteries. The batteries recharge during deceleration or when the car is not in use. There is an on-board charger to charge the batteries. This type of plug in hybrid cars offers great mileage. This is a simple explanation about how hybrid cars work.
Plug In Hybrid Cars
Talking about the traditional hybrid cars pros and cons it can be said that these cars return good fuel mileage but the weight can be a problem. The weight of the electric motor, generator, gasoline engine and batteries becomes a little heavy for the car. Of course pure hybrid electric cars don’t need many batteries so in that way it manages to save a little on weight. Even then the weight of a full electric motor and a 10 KW generator does become heavy for hybrid electric cars.
To address this weight drag problem Japanese car manufacturer Honda came out with its Insight model which has a large gas engine along with an electric motor connected to engine. This car derives most of its energy requirements from the gasoline engine and the electric motor only provides extra power during acceleration. Since the electric motor which acts as a generator has to work only part time for supplying energy it is very lightweight. However, as the gasoline engine has to rotate at different speeds efficiency gets compromised.
Now let’s discuss in brief how hybrid cars work in the modern context. A modern hybrid car has two types of motors which are synchronized to work together so as to provide constant power to the wheels when the car is on the move. A gasoline engine backed by an electric motor is the most popular combination. However there are also diesel hybrid cars. Nowadays people are showing preference for diesel hybrid cars because of rising gasoline prices. Diesel is a comparatively cheaper fuel. To conserve fuel the gasoline engine is periodically shut off and during that period power supply is managed by the electric motor.
Diesel Hybrid Cars
So, by now you must have understood the basic concept of how hybrid cars work. Talking about how hybrid cars work it has to be mentioned that there are two categories of hybrid cars. There is one which uses the electric motor to propel the engine at low speeds or while climbing up a steep road. In the other category the electric motor is used to provide extra horsepower during rapid acceleration. Coming to hybrid cars pros and cons, the modern ones because of their technological advancement have more advantages than disadvantages.