How do Hybrids Work?

24th Aug 12 15:19<< Go back to news

How do Hybrids Work?

A hybrid is defined as something that is made of two kinds of components producing the same or similar results. With regard to cars, very simply, a Hybrid Electrical Vehicle (HEV) can run on more than one fuel type. HEVs combine an internal combustion engine and an electrical motor, powered by rechargeable batteries.

However, there are various types of HEV available today and all work in different ways, here we take a look at a few…

Mild Hybrids – In a mild Hybrid vehicle, the electric motor cannot propel the car forward on its own as it can in other types of HEVs, although it can assist the engine when extra power is needed. It is also used to work smaller components that are more easily powered by electricity such as air conditioning and heating. Mild Hybrids tend to have a much smaller and less powerful engine which reduces the cost of manufacturing this type of HEV.

Series or Parallel Hybrids – Both series and parallel HEVs rely on large batteries to store energy and both rely on technology such as regenerative braking to conserve energy.   The main difference between them is the drivetrain layout. In a parallel HEV, the electric motor and gasoline engine are both attached to a single transmission; this means the car can be powered by the fuel, the electric motor, or both at the same time. In a series hybrid, the car is powered only by the electric motor whilst the engine works as a generator to keep it charged.

Plug in Hybrid Electrical Vehicle (PHEV) – PHEVs drive mostly using electric power. They use chargeable batteries that are charged by an external power source such as a normal household plug socket. In this way they are like an all-electrical vehicle but the engine works as a back-up when the batteries are out of charge, meaning it has a better driving range. They can be driven as much as 60 miles without using any gas.

If you want to learn more about Hybrid Vehicles, our Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Systems (IMIAL Level 2 QCF) is the course for you! Click here to view full details or to book.

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