How do Hybrid Vehicles Get Such Great Gas Mileage?
It’s not by accident that many of the most fuel efficient vehicles for the 2005 model year were hybrid-electric vehicles (HEVs), also known as hybrid vehicles, or simply hybrids. Hybrid vehicles are built in a variety of configurations to achieve different objectives. They combine an electric motor with the best features of the internal combustion engine and are capable of significant improvements of fuel economy without giving up performance or driving range. Some hybrids are also configured to supply power for power tools or other electrical devices.
Hybrid vehicles are powered primarily by an internal combustion engine, just like conventional vehicles. However, they also convert energy normally wasted during braking and coasting into electricity. This energy is stored in a battery until it is needed by the electric motor. Internal combustion engines are least efficient in low-speed driving conditions, and when hill climbing or accelerating. This is where the electric motor kicks in, by assisting the gasoline engine in these low-efficiency situations. Some hybrids also shut the engine off automatically when the vehicle comes to a stop, and restart it when the driver steps on the accelerator. This prevents further waste of energy by idling the engine when stopped. Unlike vehicles that are solely electric powered, hybrid vehicles don’t have to be recharged by plugging them into an external electrical source. All the energy the vehicle needs is provided by conventional gasoline and regenerative braking.