What is a Hybrid Car

The technology for the hybrid car has been in existence since the 19th century when cars were first introduced to the public.

what is a hybrid carHybrid powered cars are merely cars that derive power from more than energy source. All cars today have a battery that starts the car and powers its other accessories and lights.

– the picture to the left is a close-up of the concept car, the Peugeot RCZ. Photo is by Thomas Becker.

During the late 1990’s a car with more electrical power and an electric motor to power move the car together with the gasoline engine started to be considered by some car designers.

These vehicles were deemed to be viable alternatives to gasoline only models. Some prototypes and production models were offered in the market and became popular.

Another name for Hybrid cars are green cars. And if you are curious what the top green cars are in the world today…click here.

What is a Hybrid Car / Breaking it Down

peugeot rcz

The term hybrid car can be any vehicle with more than one source of power.

-the image to the left represents the full view of the Peugeot RCZ Hybrid. It is equipped with a 2.0 HDi FAP diesel engine with 120kW (163hp) and an electric engine with 27kW (37hp). It is a four-wheel drive with a totel power of 147kW (200hp) and a consumption of 3.6l/100km (95g CO2). Photo is by Thomas Becker.-

For example a bus that can run on overhead electrical lines as well as a diesel engine. Generally however, the term “hybrid car” is used today to denote an automobile that has both a conventional internal combustion engine usually powered by gasoline and a bank of batteries that powers and electric motor and shares the power train between these two sources.
What is a Hybrid Car / The Advantages

what is a hybrid car

The image to the left represents the Toria Connector 2001 Solar Hybrid Car. It’s in The Danish Museum of Science and Technology (Danmarks Tekniske Museum – www.tekniskmuseum.dk). It is the Danish, prototype, Toria Connector 2001 Solar Hybrid Car which has solar panels to power the car in town and a bio-diesel engine for longer runs. In order to generate sufficient electric power the car’s dimensions are a little larger than normal and seating is 3 + 3. Photo is by A R Baurial.-

When any car is moving down a road at regular speed on an average road the engine is doing three things. One, it overcoming the rolling resistance or inertia or the drive train.

Two, it is overcoming wind resistance that tries to stop the car from moving. And three, it is powering the steering pump, the brake hydraulics, the air conditioner, and other electrical accessories.

In doing this the engine is not required to produce more than 10 or 20 horsepower.

what is a hybrid carThe 100-200 horsepower that is usually the capacity of the engine is needed only for acceleration from a standing stop, for passing, and for climbing inclines.

-The image to the left represents the Saab Salomon hybrid concept car. Photo is by Davy Dutchy.

Most cars and drivers only use the maximum rated horsepower of their engines one percent of the time that you are driving. This means that most of the time a car is wasting energy carrying the weight and overcoming the friction of a large engine.
What is a Hybrid Car / Inefficiency?

The theory behind the efficiency of the hybrid car is that isuses a small an efficient gasoline engine 90 to 99 percent of the time when the car only needs minimal power to keep the car moving and to charge a bank of batteries.

The power in the batteries is used for the accessories and to power an electric motor that is used to augment the power of the small gasoline engine during the times when the power of the gasoline engine is insufficient for acceleration from a standing stop, when passing other vehicles, or when climbing up an incline.


For more information on hybrid cars follow these links:

Who Makes Hybrid Cars

Who Makes Electric Cars

Top Green Cars

Flex Fuel Vehicles

Honda Insight Reviews

Smart For Two

GEM Electric Car

ZENN Electric Car

Cadillac Escalade Hybrid

GMC Savana Van

Hummer H3 Reviews

BMW Hydrogen 7

Alternative Energy Vehicles/More You Need to Know

Return From What is a Hybrid Car to the Benefits of Recycling home page.