Hybrid-electric vehicles (HEVs) combine the benefits of gasoline engines and electric motors and can be configured to obtain different objectives, such as improved fuel economy, increased power, or additional auxiliary power for electronic devices and power tools.
Hybrid-electric vehicles combine the benefits of gasoline engines and electric motors to provide improved fuel economy. The engine provides most of the vehicle's power, and the electric motor provides additional power when needed, such as for accelerating and passing. This allows a smaller, more-efficient engine to be used.The electric power for the motor is generated from regenerative braking and from the gasoline engine, so hybrids don't have to be "plugged in" to an electrical outlet to recharge
When the vehicle is started, the gasoline engine "warms up."If necessary, the electric motor acts as a generator, converting energy from the engine into electricity and storing it in the battery.
When a hybrid is stopped, such as at a red light, the gasoline engine and electric motor shut off automatically so that energy is not wasted in idling.
Other Hybrid Details
Regenerative Braking. The electric motor applies resistance to the drivetrain causing the wheels to slow down. In return, the energy from the wheels turns the motor, which functions as a generator, converting energy normally wasted during coasting and braking into electricity, which is stored in a battery until needed by the electric motor.
Electric Motor Drive/Assist. The electric motor provides additional power to assist the engine in accelerating, passing, or hill climbing. This allows a smaller, more efficient engine to be used. In some vehicles, the motor alone provides power for low-speed driving conditions where internal combustion engines are least efficient.
Automatic Start/Shutoff. Automatically shuts off the engine when the vehicle comes to a stop and restarts it when the accelerator is pressed. This prevents wasted energy from idling.
Not yet ready for a hybrid?
Here are some tips for vehicle efficiency.
* Make sure your air filter is clean. Clogged air filters make your engine work harder, burning more fuel to create the same amount of power.
* Check the air pressure on your tires. Tires that aren’t inflated to the proper level may reduce mileage per gallon as much as 3 percent. Overinflating a tire results in uneven tire wear.
* Slow down. Most vehicle mileage drastically begins to drop off at speeds in excess of 60 mph. * Calm down. Aggressive driving, rapid acceleration and braking can affect fuel mileage. By avoiding such behavior, you can see savings up to 30 percent.
* Remove extra weight. Removing extra weight, especially in excess of 100 pounds, can improve mileage from 4 cents to 7 cents a gallon.
* Reduce extra wind resistance. Using a loaded roof rack increases fuel consumption.
* If you are in the market for a new vehicle, choose one that is more fuel efficient. According to the federal government Web site http://www.fueleconomy.gov, a person driving 15,000 miles a year can realize a savings of $878 per year by driving a vehicle that gets 30 miles per gallon versus one that gets 20 mpg.