Types of Hybrid Cars

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated May 15, 2012)

As more and more people become convinced that hybrid cars are one of the best options available to both be able to get around in today's society, and be more environmentally friendly, these vehicles are becoming more and more popular. In fact, they have gotten to be so popular that at one time there was a waiting list of almost a year to get one of the more popular brands. But what types of hybrid cars are there? Unlike with the internal combustion engine where you have one basic type, there are in fact four different styles of hybrid engine for you to choose from.

  • Series. This type of motor is where an electric motor provides the power for all the driving, and the gasoline engine is only used to recharge the battery pack. What happens is that when a driver starts up the engine the power is then received from the battery pack which is then sent to the electric motor which then goes on to turn the wheels. If you are going to go on a longer trip (say one that is longer than 50 continuous miles) the gas engine then kicks in to provide the power directly. These types of engines are typically more expensive than the more common parallel models since they have larger batteries to provide more power for higher tops speeds.
  • Parallel. The parallel model of hybrid engines really only has one similarity to the series model, and that is that it has both an internal combustion engine and an electric engine. However, unlike the series type of motor, the parallel hybrid both types of motors are connected to a single transmission which allows both engines to power the car at the same time. The fuel tank provides gas to the combustion engine while the generator charges the batteries. Typically, this is the type of engine that is perfect for long drives, and is one of the most common types sold in the United States. For example, you can find these types of engines in cars such as the Chevy Malibu and the Toyota Prius.
  • Mild. The least expensive type of hybrid car is usually going to have what is called a mild hybrid engine. These types of engines don't operate off of just the electric motor. In stead, this type of engine is designed to have the electric motor assist the gas motor when additional power is needed. This is usually seen when the car begins to slow down or sits still, and the control unit shuts down the vehicle so that the gas engine isn't burning any fuel and polluting the environment. When it is time to go, the battery starts the motor up again, and the car scoots on down the road.
  • Full. A full hybrid engine acts in much the same manner that a mild one does, but in this case the electrical and gas engines can propel the vehicle separately, or by working together. Often times, the driver can choose which one they would like to have operating.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...

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