Hybrid electric cars

How Hybrid Electric Cars Work? Types of Hybrid Electric Vehicles

In today’s world, pursuing eco-friendly transportation solutions is more important than ever. With growing concerns, hybrid electric cars have become a symbol of hope for individuals who care about the planet. There are projects on green roofs and environmentally affluent reactors that help with CO2 reduction, but electric cars continue to be a major emphasis! And all credit goes to these cars being environmentally secure.
Continue with the article to discover how hybrid electric cars work, their various types available, advantages, and challenges.

Basics of Hybrid Electric Vehicles

The global electric car market is expected to reach 34 million units by 2025 (Image Source: Pixabay.com)

Hybrid electric vehicles, or HEVs, combine internal combustion engines (ICE) with power motors. These vehicles use different elements to function effectively, including the internal combustion engine, an electric motor, a high-capacity battery, and a sophisticated control system – the hybrid control unit (HCU). The HCUs ensure harmony between the other parts, making each component work seamlessly and optimizing efficiency.

Operation of Hybrid Electric Vehicles

Robert Anderson developed the first crude electric vehicle around 1832 (Image Source: Pixabay.com)

Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) are known for their versatility, offering exponential driving modes to suit one’s everchanging needs. They can run entirely on electric power, resulting in zero emissions and a quieter ride. Regarding acceleration and cruising, these vehicles’ internal combustion engine (ICE) and electric motor work together seamlessly, delivering an efficient driving experience.
Moreover, HEVs are based on accelerated braking systems! The car captures and stores energy while slowing down on the road. Additionally, these vehicles are designed to shut down the ICE when idle or at a standstill, which not only saves fuel but also helps minimize emissions.

Types of Hybrid Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicles help with improved fuel efficiency and reduced emissions (Image Source: Pixabay.com)

Hybrid electric cars are available in variations, each providing unique advantages to meet the diverse needs of consumers. The main categories comprise:

1. Parallel Hybrid:

Parallel hybrid systems comprise an internal combustion engine and an electric motor! They drive together to improve fuel performance and decrease emission levels compared to traditional vehicles, which depend solely on the inner combustion of the engine’s shell. If you are wondering where the car gets its power, here is how things work! The battery pack of a parallel hybrid car seeks power through regenerative braking. The process involves utilizing kinetic energy produced when the vehicle slows down.

2. Series Hybrid

The series hybrid vehicle uses energy from an internal combustion engine (usually gasoline or diesel) to generate electricity for the driving motor. Here, the engine doesn’t directly power the wheels. Instead, it works as a generator, providing electricity to the motor. This setup improves fuel efficiency and reduces emissions, making it an eco-friendly option for consumers.

3. Plug-In Hybrid

The car seeks power from the dual partnership of an electric powertrain and an inner combustion engine in a plug-in hybrid. It can be charged using an outlet to travel a distance solely on electric power. For trips, the internal combustion engine kicks in. This combination of power sources results in improved fuel efficiency and lower emissions, making it a friendly option for transportation.

4. Mild Hybrid

In a mild hybrid system, the vehicle is powered by an internal combustion engine backed by a small electric motor. Although it does not operate on sole electricity, in mild hybrids, the small motor does offer the needed support to the engine. Thus improving fuel efficiency and lowering emissions. This makes them a friendly choice for transportation.

5. Full Hybrid

You can switch between the electric motor and the internal combustion engine in a fully hybrid vehicle. These modifications maximize fuel efficiency and reduce carbon emissions while the vehicle switches to power sources as needed, making it more environmentally friendly for travel.

Advantages of Hybrid Electric Vehicles.

HEVs offer numerous advantages, making them an attractive option for environmentally-conscious consumers:

  • Regenerative braking systems that can capture and store energy.
  • Enhanced performance through the combined power of an ICE and electric motor.
  • Reduced noise pollution due to electric-only driving.
  • Government incentives and tax benefits for driving an environmentally friendly vehicle.

Challenges and Limitations of Hybrid Electric Vehicles

Despite their benefits, HEVs also have certain challenges and limitations:

  • Limited electric-only range, especially in non-plug-in hybrids.
  • Dependence on charging infrastructure and access to electricity.
  • Recycling and disposal concerns associated with batteries.
  • Considerations related to the weight and space occupied by hybrid components.
  • Maintenance complexities due to dual power sources.

Future Trends in Hybrid Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicles have a higher upfront cost compared to traditional vehicles (Image Source: Pixabay.com)

The landscape of hybrid electric cars is continuously evolving. Future trends in this field include

  • Advancements in battery technology for improved efficiency and range.
  • Increased electric-only range in plug-in hybrid models.
  • Integration of more renewable energy sources to reduce environmental impact.
  • Advancements in autonomous driving and connectivity to enhance the driving experience.
  • The impact of government policies and regulations in promoting cleaner transportation options.

Top Hybrid Electric Cars in 2023

Here are the top hybrid electric cars in 2023. These are just a few of the many great hybrid options available.

ModelFuel TypePrice (Ex-showroom Delhi)Battery Pack
Toyota Urban Cruiser HyryderPetrol and ElectricRs. 19.90 LakhsLi-ion – 177.6 V
Maruti Grand Vitara Petrol and ElectricRs. 18.50 Lakhs Li-ion – 177.6 V
Toyota CamryPetrol and ElectricRs. 46.10 LakhsNickel-Metal Hydride – 245 V
Volvo XC90Petrol and Electric Rs. 98.30 LakhsLithium-ion 48V

*As per ARAI (Automotive Research Association of India) 

Hybrid electric cars have become a viable and eco-friendly option in automotive technology. Combining traditional combustion engines with electric motors, HEVs offer practical and sustainable solutions for modern transportation needs. As technology advances and the world strives for a flourishing future, hybrid electric cars play an important role in reducing emissions and conserving energy.

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