Saturday, 21 July 2012


With the prices of gasoline and fuel always on the increase, car manufacturers have today found a new form of car technology that is fuel efficient and low in pollution. This technology is called the hybrid car technology where the cars have a rechargeable energy storage system (RESS) found in the vehicle, along with some fuel propulsion source.

Hybrid cars don't produce much pollution and consumes minimal fuel; and its different propulsion systems have either common parts or systems. Hybrid cars are generally designated to vehicles running on a combination of petroleum and electricity. These vehicles are called hybrid-electric vehicles where electric cells are used to power electric engines, along with an internal combustion engine.

The advantage of these cars is that they sort of extend their battery charge through the kinetic energy they catch in regenerative braking. Moreover when such cars cruise, or move on a small thrust, the combustion engine generates energy with the running of a second electric motor. This is done to either recharge the battery or to provide energy to the motor for driving the car. This is unlike the conventional electrical cars where they avail of their battery charge through external sources like the grid.

Today, most of the hybrid cars run on either gasoline or diesel as their main energy source while there are some cases where other fuels like ethanol or plant based oils are used too. There are also some cars that use hydrogen fuel. Sometimes, hybrid cars are also referred to the cars that are flexible-fuel vehicles where they run on a combination of different fuels like gasoline and ethanol alcohol fuel.

The main reason people prefer to use hybrid cars is because of its hybrid technology of a combination of technologies. With this, a lot of gas fuel is saved which is of course, beneficial to the car buyer. With the passage of time, hybrid car technology has improved in the different hybrid cars. This is because with time, hybrid cars have also become popular and the manufacturers have been working on more means to make the car more feasible to the prospective car buyer.

With hybrid car technology, the motion of the car is designed in such a way that the engines in these cars have a smaller size that is used when drifting and driving leisurely. It is usually the battery source that provides the additional power like going uphill or accelerating whenever needed. To couple things, when the hybrid car is stopped, the hybrid fuel engine gets switched off to run off the electric motor.

Hybrid cars are built lighter and are designed more aerodynamically for better speed. And its tires are usually stiffer and have a higher inflation so that the drag of the car is reduced. So it can be seen that with hybrid car technology, a car has become more efficient. Though the rates of these cars may initially be a bit high, they are very much worth it in the long run during its lifespan.

How Hybrid Cars Work

Hybrid Cars integrate the power of the conventional gasoline engine with that of an electric motor. A high powered battery pack provides energy to the motor which itself gets recharged when the car is decelerating. This is called as regenerative braking. The gas engine can also assist the battery in recharging. This kills the need to plug the car to an external source of energy.

As of now, there are two types of hybrid vehicles.

In one type, the electric motor acts as a side-kick to the gas engine, assisting it whenever surplus power is needed. The electric motor alone is incapable of independently operating the vehicle. Honda's Power Assist technology in its hybrids, Civic and Insight is an example. Such vehicles are termed as Mild Hybrids. In mild hybrids, the gasoline engine provides the main source of power, and the electric motor provides additional power whenever needed.

The second type of hybrid can be termed as a Full Hybrid, where the gasoline engine and the electric motor can operate the vehicle separately. In this type, the electric motor can drive the vehicle at lower speeds. In need of more speed, the gasoline engine kicks in. The Toyota Prius and the Ford Escape implement the same technology.

Be it mild hybrids or full hybrids, both are capable of providing lower emissions and better fuel efficiency.
The Internal-Combustion Engines (both gasoline and diesel) installed in Hybrid cars are often smaller than those in normal cars for a simple reason that Hybrids have the electric motor for assistance.

The motor can take care of city travel which poses stop and go conditions as well as power-consuming add-ons such as the A/C or power-windows and power-steering. At high speeds, the gasoline engine supplies power. This switching of power sources is computer controlled and nothing needs to be manually done.

Power to the electric motor comes from the battery-pack. Recharging of the battery is automatic and need not be done by external sources. When the car is in uniform motion or when it is decelerating, it generates power which charges the batteries which utilizes the valuable kinetic energy.

As with any other battery, the Hybrid car battery also has a limited life span. Auto makers however, put the battery life at around 200,000 miles which roughly comes around to 7-8 years, depending on the kind of travel it endures. Thus, It pays to take extra care of your vehicle and travel when necessary.

Advantages of Hybrid Cars :
  • Hybrid cars carry with them a bundle of advantages.
  • Hybrids combine clean energy of the electrical motor with the power of the gas-powered engine which results into lower emissions and better mileage.
  • Thanks to the ever improving technology, hybrids perform at par with the normal ga-powered vehicles, if not better.
  • Hybrids are reliable and comfortable as any traditional car and they have a tax benefits(only till 2006).
  • There are purchase incentives for Hybrid vehicle owners (varies by state).
  • Hybrids are much cleaner cars than normal vehicles with lesser CO and other greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Hybrids provide a better mileage.
  • The future for hybrids looks bright with rapid developments in hybrid technology to improve engine efficiency.
  • Due to the Regenerative Braking technology, the batteries need not be charged by an external source.
  • Special warranties are provided for the battery pack, the electric motor other costly items.
  • Hybrids help reduce the dependency on fossil fuels which directly affects fuel prices.

Hybrid cars are often refered to as the 'car of the era'. The unique advantages of the hybrid car will be sole basis for such recognition in the market. The motor industry was always in the effort to develop most beneficial model and the disadvantages of the conventional model might be the triggering factor for the formation of advantageous models. Usually, anything to be considered as advantageous will make benefit only to its owner, and to the maximum, the family of the owner. The specialty of the hybrid car enhances in this situation since its advantages can attribute benefit to not only the owner or his family, but to the entire society, nation and the mankind.

The advantages of the hybrid car start right from its difference in the basic pattern. Hybrid car is type of car that utilizes two energy sources for its movement. The popular hybrid cars in the market are manufactured in such a manner to combine the benefits of an internal combustion engine and electrical motor. The shortening level of gasoline in the world as it is a non-renewable energy was the major drawback of the conventional cars, which was rectified in the electrical cars, but it also had its own disadvantages. The advantage of the hybrid car is that it can rectify the complaints in the both systems and balances the use of electrical energy and gasoline engine, in their optimum levels.

In the hybrid car, the electrical energy is used while starting up of the car and its low speed ranges, which will help to impart a check to the tail pipe emissions. As the automobiles is increasing, world is at the threat of toxic pollutants and global warming, due to their exhaust ingredients. The decrease in the tail pipe emission will be a great advantage for the environment as well as the society. However, gasoline engine will take up the transmission, when the speed goes up since, it is essential to attribute the pace for the drive. While the traffic stops and steep slopes the electrical energy will be again activated, which will help to reduce the gasoline utilization. The aerodynamic design, lighter materials and smoother tyre will help for better energy consumption. The striking technological advantage of the hybrid car is that the energy loss, while braking is re-channeled for the electrical battery charging, called as regenerative braking, and a separate energy for battery charging is not required.

The advantages of the hybrid car are multifaceted since it attributes economical, technical and economical benefits. Despite of the owner, the country as well as, is benefited from the gasoline saving as the oil prices are steeping very high, and its effects the country's whole economy. This advantage is also a benefit to the customer as government has decided to give reductions and tax credits for the hybrid car buying. In addition to Federal exemption certain states also provide local exemptions to promote the use of hybrid car.

Hybrid car is thus an advantageous car, which helps to over come much of the crisis related to the motor world.

Hybrid Car Maintenance :
A hybrid car is basically a car that runs on a combination of a fuel combustion engine and mechanical energy provided by a battery cell. These cars are usually run using petrol, but there are also hybrid cars that run on gasoline and diesel. Some also run on optional fuels like ethanol alcohol or plant fuel.

Though hybrid cars generally cost more than normal cars, they don't need much maintenance. These hybrid cars don't need any type of additional maintenance on its components. The only maintenance that some cars may need is the replacement of the air filter on some battery systems every 40,000 miles. Of course, you have to run similar maintenance to the fuel engine of a hybrid car as you would to any other regular fuel-engine vehicle. So this implies that according to the driving conditions and vehicle, oil changes have to be made every 5,000 to 10,000 miles.

In fact, when comparing some aspects of hybrid cars, they offer less maintenance than ordinary cars. The brake pads of ordinary cars tend to wear out and thus need periodical changes. However, because of regenerative braking that exists in hybrids, the brake pads in hybrid cars tend to last longer. Here the electric motor acts as a generator where energy is captured to be lost when the car is either cruising or when brakes are applied. This energy is changed into electricity to recharge batteries, which in turn is used to increase the efficiency of fuel in the car.

There is no need of plugging a hybrid car as maintenance for its battery as the battery receives its energy source through regenerative braking. This is unlike other electric cars where the battery has to be plugged periodically for its battery to be in running condition. Unlike the notion that the batteries of hybrid cars have to be replaced repeatedly, there is no need of replacing batteries here as long as the charge is maintained between 40% and 60% its charge. This way the battery is never fully charged or drained by which the longevity is extended.

It is usually thought that hybrid cars charge more in terms of maintenance. However, this is not true, as sometimes its maintenance is lower because of decreased wear and tear on the engine and its braking system. Moreover, when you do a maintenance check up for a hybrid car, it is better to take the hybrid car to its dealer. This is because the dealer offers a warranty on the amount of usage of the car on both the emission parts and the battery pack. Of course, you may have to pay a little more when servicing the car in the dealer service center; however, you are will be confident of receiving the best service for your car.

Today, there are many classes being run to teach mechanics all there is to know about the maintenance of hybrid cars. This is to meet the demand of the rising demand for hybrid cars. So by the time your warranty on your hybrid car expires, you will be confident of finding qualified mechanics for your hybrid car maintenance.

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