Five Hybrid Car Facts

hybrid car

When it comes to hybrid cars, know the facts

The number of hybrid cars on the road today has grown exponentially since their debut earlier this decade. Unless you own a hybrid, however, you might not know that much about them. Here are five basic facts about hybrid cars to give you a better understanding.

From two to over 20, and multiplying

Hybrid vehicles have been available to the public for about ten years now. When they were first introduced, there were only two models to choose from. Today, there are more than 20 hybrid models available, in various sizes and colors. Furthermore, by some estimates, the number of hybrid models is expected to double by the end of the 2010.

Two power sources for added efficiency

Most hybrids on the road today are gasoline / electric combos. A hybrid car uses two or more power sources to put the car in motion (hence the name) which typically consist of a gasoline engine and an electric motor with a battery pack. The electric motor draws on the batteries for power and acceleration.  The hybrid also switches to its electric motor when it's idling or stopped. Because the gasoline engine in hybrids is smaller than engines found in conventional cars, it requires less fuel to operate.

No plug required, thanks to Regenerative Braking

When you hit the brakes in a conventional car, energy in the form of dissipated heat is lost. Hybrid technology, on the other hand, captures this energy and puts it to good use. Many hybrids use a feature called Regenerative Braking, which allows the motor to capture the energy traditionally lost in braking to recharge its battery. As a result, hybrid cars do not need a plug in feature because of the Regenerative Braking mechanism.

In case you didn't know, hybrid cars are efficient

Hybrid cars can achieve more miles per gallon than their conventional car counterparts (sometimes as much as 50 miles per gallon). This is possible because gas / electric hybrids tend to have smaller gasoline engines than engines found in conventional cars. Cars with big, heavy engines require power to move, and as a result, expend more gas doing so. In addition to a smaller engine, hybrids boast other efficient features, such as lighter body materials, tires that minimize drag and Regenerative Braking.  In total, hybrid car technologies lead the way in maximizing fuel efficiency.

Hybrid cars are friendlier to the environment

Conventional, gasoline-burning internal combustion engines pollute our air by releasing harmful carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, and nitrogen oxide into the atmosphere. On the other hand, hybrid cars emit less harmful carbon emissions by using a smaller gasoline engine coupled with an electric motor that picks up where the gasoline engine leaves off.  As a result, less fuel is burned and less harmful emissions are released.

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