Rising prices of fossil fuels and increasing environmental awareness have raised interest in hybrid cars technology. Proponents of these cars emphasize less fuel consumption and less pollution as the main advantages. In addition to this, there are many other advantages. However, some drivers are still not convinced of the quality of hybrid vehicles, especially on performance and smaller dimensions. If you also distrust, read this article and learn more about the main characteristics of the hybrid four-wheelers!
Hybrid cars are those cars that use two or more sources of energy to work, instead of a single source of energy as in traditional cars. They are usually combined gasoline / diesel engine (internal combustion engine) with an electric motor.
In its offer, most manufacturers have some type of hybrid cars such as Cadillac, Honda, Toyota, Ford, Saab, GMC, Chrysler, Dodge, Chevrolet, Saturn, Citroen, Nissan and many others. These are the leading world’s automakers that produce hybrid vehicles, but a growing number of automotive companies are interested in this technology.
The first models of hybrid cars (e.g., the Honda Insight and Toyota Prius) are quite small vehicles. After them, automotive companies have started to produce larger hybrids, such as SUV models – RX 400h and Escape. Today, these cars can be of different dimensions – from the smallest (compact two-seater cars) to the largest (nine-passenger full-size SUVs).
As regards performance, the cars with gasoline-electric drive often have better injection of their “brothers” with the internal combustion engine, with lower fuel consumption. Generally, the hybrid vehicles can be as much as 20 % more expensive than conventional gasoline engine cars. The cheapest hybrid cars cost a little less than 20,000 dollars, and maintenance costs are not negligible. However, if we take into account the low fuel consumption, the payback period is short. In addition, some advanced hybrid vehicles (like the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt) are eligible for federal tax credits.
Preservation of the environment is the most important feature of these vehicles with environmental point of view. The technique of driving is very important, too. If you pay attention to the greater use of electric motor, the fuel savings will be significant and CO2 emissions will be lower. If the accelerator pedal is constantly used, especially when driving big SUV models, fuel consumption may be even higher than conventional models. It should always be borne in mind!
According to the type of electric drive, hybrid cars are divided into two groups:
- Mild hybrid – The electric motor is used only to help the internal combustion They are significantly cheaper than full hybrids, but have less power and less fuel savings.
- Full hybrid – They can work without the internal combustion engine (ICE), using the electric In this case, the electric motor has at least one third of the total car power.
The second division is made according to the connection of mechanical and electrical parts. Hybrid drive systems can be divided into six basic powertrain configurations:
- Parallel hybrid
- Mild parallel hybrid
- Series-parallel hybrid (Power-split)
- Series hybrid
- Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV)
- Road safety for cyclists, pedestrians
Another advantage of hybrid cars is luxury features. Most full hybrids have high-tech features like navigation systems, automatic climate control, an iPod interface, Bluetooth capability and keyless start systems. If you are a lover of high-quality luxury cars, you should know that almost all new hybrid models possess these attributes.
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