Hybrid vehicle have been steadily growing in popularity for their incredible fuel economy and reduced carbon footprint. Hybrid vehicles use both gas combustion engines in conjunction with a electric motors for driving. Cars that are only electric use only electric motors that require charging in order to operate. Here is an overview of how hybrid and electric cars work, and whether they’re a good choice for you.
ELECTRIC MOTOR DRIVE ASSIST
Hybrid vehicles use both a gas engine and an electric motor to drive down the road. The gas fired engine provides the main source of energy for propulsion, while the electric motor provides extra assistance for acceleration.
This combination allows for a smaller, more efficient gas engine to be used which reduces fuel usage as well as environmental impact. At low speeds where gas engines are generally very inefficient, like in a parking lot, only the electric motor is used.
Instead of relying solely on the vehicles brakes, the electric motor applies resistance to the drive train which then slows down the vehicle. At the same time, the electric motor acts as a generator, where the resistance applied to the drive train actually turns the motor generating more electricity that can be stored in the battery to be reused. The system also converts energy spent while coasting and braking into usable electricity.
AUTOMATIC START AND SHUT OFF
The moment a hybrid vehicle comes to a stop, the engine automatically shuts off to save energy. When the accelerator pedal is pressed, the engine instantly turns back on. No energy is wasted by idling.
100% ELECTRIC VEHICLES
While certain models of Hybrid cars can be plugged into an electrical outlet to be charged, they do not rely solely on electricity. There are cars however, that run purely on electricity.
These electric cars must be plugged into an electrical outlet in order to charge their powerful batteries that provide energy for driving. Since electric cars need to be charged in order to operate, their range of operation is limited. But, for people who only drive short distances every day, electric cars provide an incredibly economical and environmentally friendly way to get around.
If you’re interested in the idea of saving a ton of money on fuel, and also lighten your carbon footprint, a hybrid or electric car might be just what you need. Come visit Orangeville Honda to check out our lineup of Honda Hybrids and Electric cars.