Hybrid Vehicles

  Hybrid vehicles utilize power from two (or more) distinct sources to drive the vehicle. The conventional internal combustion gasoline engine (sometimes atkinson cycle) is almost always one of the power sources.
  This explanation on hybrid vehicles will be based on the gasoline-electric hybrid which is by far the most popular type there is where electronic motors are used together with the engines.
  Hybrids are sometimes considered to be a separate classification of vehicle although most of them are built off an existing vehicle.
  One of the reasons for the production of hybrid vehicles is to reduce the amount of harmful gasses entering the atmosphere via vehicle exhaust. An electronic motor or any other alternative will produce fewer emissions.
  Another reason for these vehicles is to generally reduce fuel consumption thereby reducing the fuel cost to the hybrid owner. Fuel economy is sometimes improved by up to 50% in a hybrid compared to a non hybrid of the same model.
  Gasoline-electric hybrids can be found powering any type of vehicle. From sedans, sport utility vehicles/crossovers and even vehicles known to be performance oriented.
  Gasoline-electric hybrids can be classified into three categories. A few vehicles from General Motors/Chevrolet will be used to explain.
  1. A Mild Hybrid such as the Chevrolet Malibu Eco. The Malibu Eco is designed to have the electric motor as a back up to the engine and extend the range of the vehicle between fill ups. The motor can't propel the vehicle by itself.
  2. A Hybrid such as the Chevrolet Cruise Eco. The Cruise Eco is designed to be predominately gas propelled but the electric motor can be used together with the engine or can be used by itself for short distances.
  3. A Plug-in Hybrid such as the Chevrolet Volt. Plug in hybrids like the volt are the closest thing to an electric vehicle. The battery on a plug in hybrid have to be charged by plugging it into an external electrical outlet. It was designed to be driven by the electric motor and uses the petrol engine as a back up when the battery is low or to extend the range between charging.
The motor is integrated into the drivetrain of the vehicle or may form its own drivetrain. It is usually attached between the engine and the transmission, it may replace the torque converter inside the transmission or it may be directly connected to two of the wheels.
  The addition of an electric motor increases the total torque and horsepower ratings of the vehicle. The motor(s) may operate by themselves at idling and low speeds and it may add power automatically to the engine when needed such as accelerating and hill climbing but because of battery capacity the motor generally can't propel the vehicle for the distance a tank of gas will carry it.
  Using the vehicle with gasoline alone, electric alone or using them together usually amounts to different driving modes and the vehicle may have a switch to choose between them.
  Other hybrid vehicles are powered by alternative sources such as hydrogen, liquid nitrogen, compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG). These sources are basically low emission fuels that is used in the same internal combustion gasoline engine that has been modified to accommodate ignition via gas and/or the alternative fuel. These vehicles also have two fuel tanks.
  Information relating to hybrid while in operation can be displayed on the infotainment screen. These displays usually show which power source the vehicle is presently using, how much of that power source is being used, present fuel efficiency and expected range.
  The number of hybrid vehicles being sold worldwide is growing as the world is becoming more aware of the greenhouse effect and people are concerned about fuel prices I see a bright future for hybrids.
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