Hybrid cars are gradually becoming a popular choice among car enthusiasts due to their fuel-efficient and eco-friendly features. The vehicles in the hybrid segment emit less harmful gasses and run-on low fuel. With the growing demand, popular car brands are launching some of the best hybrid cars in the market. To the delight of the car enthusiasts, hybrid vehicles are packed with advanced driving technologies and safety features. Hybrid cars are designed to leave a lasting impression, all-thanks to their futuristic exterior and sophisticated interior.
Car enthusiasts when looking for buying a hybrid vehicle should consider some important things before taking the final decision. There are various types of hybrid vehicles that need to assess all the options and they need to be clear about their choice of car. Potential car buyers should select a vehicle based on their individual requirements, preferences and budget.
Here is a complete guide for car enthusiasts looking for a hybrid vehicle to buy.
What is a hybrid?
Hybrid cars are commonly called hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) as this type of car depends on two different power sources for motion. Some of the common sources of power in hybrid cars are diesel, petrol and electricity. However, there are three main type of hybrid cars available in the car market, which are as follow: full hybrids, mild hybrids and plug-in hybrids.
Full Hybrids (FHEV)
This type of hybrid car runs merely electric engine such as batteries or combustion engine that requires petrol/diesel. One of the popular examples of a full hybrid (FHEV) is the Toyota Prius. Full hybrid vehicles have batteries that are recharged by running the combustion engine and do not need to be plugged in for recharging.
There is a combustion engine and electric motor in a mild hybrid that function together and rely on each other. Honda Accord Hybrid is a good example of this type of hybrid cars. Such a hybrid is not able to function merely on one power source mode as mild hybrids run in a parallel way on both electric motors and combustion engine.
Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV)
The third type of hybrid car is a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) that requires plugging into the mains so as to fully recharge it. This type of hybrid cars run on only one power source which is electric mode.
Advanced Technologies in Hybrid Cars
These three types of hybrid cars share features for running as the goal of any hybrid car is to rely on electric power of the drivetrain and not to compromise the performance as well. In hybrid vehicles harmful emissions of gasses are reduced and they have better fuel efficiency. It is due to the fact that electric motors are more efficient than a combustion engine and produces no emissions. However, there are some exceptions such as the Porsche 918, La Ferrari, and McLaren P1. In these high-performance hybrid vehicles, electric motors are used for maximizing performance instead of eco-friendly features and efficiency.
For powering the electric part of the hybrid engine, it requires batteries for running. These batteries sizes may vary depending on the nature how battery is recharged and how much a vehicle is designed to rely on the battery. For instance, a PHEV type of hybrid car usually needs to be plugged into the mains to fully recharge its large battery, but it can also be recharged when it is driven. On the other hand, it is not efficient for the combustion engine to fully recharge the battery when the vehicle is running.
Power Sources in Different Hybrid Cars
There is various type of hybrid cars that are mentioned above, and they rely on different technologies to run and generate power. The power sources used in these hybrid vehicles are described below;
Full Hybrid Vehicles
Full hybrid vehicles are the most fuel-efficient type of hybrid vehicle that uses different technologies for generating power such as Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) and regenerative braking. Some of the most popular models in this section include Honda Accord Hybrid, Ford Fusion Hybrid, and Toyota Prius. Such a type of hybrid cars is also able to function in all-electric mode, series mode, or parallel mode. The all-electric mode is clearly understandable term for motorists that are usually used in FHEVs when they run on low speed. Electric motor is used to drive the wheels in a series mode but they also rely on combustion engine as an on-board generator. The electric motor and combustion engine is used together in Parallel for driving the wheels.
There are various models of mild hybrids that are popular among car enthusiasts that include Chevrolet Malibu, Peugeot 308 e-HDi, and Ferrari LaFerrari. This type of hybrid vehicle is limited to parallel mode only and it comes with a helper motor and battery. In mild hybrids, electric motor does not have enough power to drive the wheels at any real speed without depending on the combustion engine. In addition, mild hybrids are also not capable of the MPG figures of a FHEV, and they usually have to rely on stop-start and regenerative braking.
Plug-in hybrids are capable of using all the technology of a FHEV but have a larger capacity battery. This large battery can be easily plugged in overnight to run the wheels. The average range of a plug-in hybrid is higher than the average FHEV in the all-electric mode. Some of the popular examples of plug-in hybrids are Porsche Cayenne S, McLaren P1, Audi A2 E-Tron, BMW i8, Ford C-Max Energi, and Kia Optima.
High Performance Hybrids
There are also some high-performance hybrid vehicles that use the technology to boost performance and does not focus on maximizing fuel efficiency. Some of the main examples of high-performance hybrids include Porsche 918 Spyder, McLaren P1, and Ferrari LaFerrari. High-performance vehicles usually charge its batteries during braking or every time the combustion engine produces more torque than required. Therefore, the extra power stored on the motor batteries can be then used for providing a boost when accelerating the vehicle.
The LaFerrari model of high-performance hybrid can drive around 14 miles in pure electric mode. However, in the full battery mode the top speed of the Ferrari limited to just 3 mph. Such hybrid cars are engineered for extreme performance.
Hybrid cars are fuel-efficient vehicles that uses different sources of power to run the wheels. One of the main reasons behind the growing popularity of the hybrid cars is their eco-friendly features. However, there are various types of hybrid vehicles such as mild hybrid, full-hybrids and high-performance hybrids. The afore-mentioned guidelines can help car enthusiasts looking for a hybrid car and opt for one that suits their requirements and preferences.