The term hybrid is defined as the “combined of different elements” or something made by combining two things. In the automobile industry, hybrid cars are vehicles that are powered by both, a gasoline engine and an electric motor. Hybrid cars are designed so that they can run on the gas engine, the electric motor, or both simultaneously – which ultimately results in lower gas consumption. With an electric motor, hybrid cars can sometimes get a boosted performance, depending on the task at hand.
To power the electric motor, hybrid cars are fitted with high-voltage batteries – similar to those found on EVs. However, this does not mean that hybrid cars can be plugged into a wall outlet. In fact, the batteries are maintained and charged through the gas engine fitted on the vehicle. Hybrid cars use regenerative braking to replenish the power in the batteries and this comes from the deceleration of the vehicle. For example, in a regular car, every time you push down on the brake, the energy produced is lost through the heat that is generated to stop the vehicle. In a hybrid vehicle, that energy is restored back into the battery which can be used for other functions.
Gas-powered engines are very slowly going out of style and while Electric Vehicles are still in the process of being implemented completely, hybrid cars are the best way to transition over. But, are they really worth investing in? Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of hybrid cars.
As discussed earlier, a hybrid car is a lot more fuel-efficient than a regular gas-powered vehicle. This means that a hybrid car consumes less gas which ultimately means that the environment is being saved a little at a time. With hybrid vehicles, the electric motor and gas engine work together to get the most out of the car which delivers as good a performance as a regular gas-powered vehicle.
With a hybrid car consuming less gas and being powered by an electric motor as well, it offers a cleaner and more sustainable energy when compared to regular cars. When running on the electric motor, a hybrid car gives off 0 percent carbon emissions and when combined with the gas engine, the emissions are still drastically lower than only gas engines.
Buying a car, for most people, is a major investment. They have to consider a lot before making a decision and one of the biggest things to think about is the resale value of a vehicle. Like a smartphone or TV, there is always something new and better being released every year. However, most people cannot afford to change their cars every year. This is where hybrid cars come in because their resale value is a lot higher than regular cars. So, even if you are looking to buy a new car after only a couple of years, you can rest assured that you will get the best value for a hybrid car.
We have already talked about this earlier but the regenerative braking system found on a hybrid car is one of the best reasons to invest in the vehicle. The batteries installed on a hybrid car are charged by the gas engine and get their power every time the brakes are used. Instead of losing the energy through heat loss when the brakes are used, the regenerative braking system uses that energy to charge the batteries which can be used for other things like providing better mileage.
As is the case with all types of vehicles, Hybrid cars come in a number of different types and variations. Here are the types of Hybrid vehicles available in India:
Considered the newest hybrid technology in the automotive industry, mild hybrids are essentially the same as regular or full hybrids but fall short on some levels. For instance, a mild hybrid vehicle does not offer the same fuel efficiency as a full hybrid. The mild-hybrid technology provides a smaller boost in performance as compared to the full hybrid variant. Because they are smaller, mild hybrid motors do not require a lot of power and are therefore paired to a 48-volt electric system. Mild hybrids still get their energy from the regenerative braking system and the gas engine. Ultimately, mild hybrids are a smaller and more affordable version of full hybrid vehicles – which is why they are so popular in the country.
Full hybrid technology is more commonly used for hybrid cars because they are capable of doing more with their electric component. Under the Full Hybrid variant, there are a further two options:
Parallel Hybrids: A Parallel hybrid car uses both the gas engine and the electric motor to push the wheels forward. This gives the car a performance boost every time the car starts moving from an idle position. Parallel hybrid cars can be paired with manual, automatic, or CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) gearboxes. The size of the gasoline engine and the transmission type determine the feel, sound, and acceleration of a Parallel hybrid vehicle.
Series Hybrids: Unlike a Parallel hybrid, a Series hybrid vehicle only uses the electric motor of the vehicle as its power source. A Series hybrid car’s gas engine is only used to charge the battery pack. The electric motor provides all the thrust required by the vehicle which means it works more like an Electric Vehicle and provides a smoother and more powerful driving experience.
The term “plug-in hybrid” has become a lot more common in India over the years but what exactly is it? Just like an EV, a Plug-in hybrid comes fitted with a larger battery pack that requires an external power source for charging. Plug-in hybrids car function as an all-out electric vehicle for longer than any of the hybrid variants mentioned here. Once the added electric power is used, a Plug-in hybrid starts working like a Parallel hybrid car which ensures that they offer the best mileage and fuel efficiency of all the hybrid variants.
So, as you can clearly see, Hybrid Cars are extremely functional and offer an exceptional performance by using both the gas engine and the electric motor. With more people looking to switch over to EVs from their gas-guzzling cars, Hybrid cars are a perfect way to get more acquainted with electric power. Would you drive a Hybrid car or do you think that gas-powered vehicles are perfectly suited to the Indian market?