Hybrid cars are becoming more and more common around the world.In this article we will provide you information about types of hybrid cars.
What do you think is more important when buying a car: power or economy?
Most will perhaps respond that they prefer a middle ground between the two, especially in a country where saving fuel is not an option but a necessity.
To bring the two sides together, an increasing number of people think of a hybrid car when they decide to buy a new model.
But what are hybrid cars? When did the hybrid car appear, and how do they work? And what differences are important in your driving?
The first hybrid car
Many imagine that the first hybrid model was the Toyota Prius , but the reality is quite different (and much older).
There are a few versions of which was actually the first, but they all date back to a time when conventional cars themselves were still becoming popular.
The oldest is from 1896, when the Armstrong Phaeton model, pictured above, appeared.
It was made from an order by the Roger Mechanical Carriage Company to electrical engineer Harry E. Dey, who still had to turn to a third company, Armstrong Electric, to create the first prototype.
Despite looking like a buggy with a steering wheel, the Armstrong Phaeton was one of the biggest innovations in the automotive industry, especially for its time.
With a 6.5-liter 2-cylinder gasoline engine and another electric drive, the hybrid could run on just one of the two.
It also had a battery that was recharged by a dynamo in the brakes ( think of modern F1 cars and their KERS system? ), as well as an ignition that used the battery’s accumulated energy, eliminating the need for a lever to start.
And the most impressive detail: restored after suffering from a flood, it still works! But don’t get too carried away, as the only unit produced was auctioned in 2016 for US$ 483,400, equivalent to R$ 1.6 million.
Going back to modern times, it is clear that the Prius plays an important part in the history of hybrids, as it was the first model to be mass-produced.
Launched by Toyota in Japan in 1997, it arrived in other markets in 2001. Since then, several generations have been launched, and the Prius remains the most popular and best-selling hybrid model.
How does a hybrid car work
A hybrid car is one that works with two sources of power and not just one, like the conventional cars we are used to seeing.
That is, in addition to the combustion engine, which can be gasoline (most common), diesel or ethanol, the car still has another engine, which is electric.
The main objective of this mixture is to combine the main positive characteristics of each one. Like this?
When we talk about conventional models, with a combustion engine, we see that their main function is to generate the best possible performance.
They still have a good range, which means they can run great distances without having to refuel.
On the other hand, as power increases, consumption also increases and more pollutants are released into the air.
An electric motor, on the other hand, does not emit any pollutants, and has a much lower cost per km driven.
But this also has its downside, as these models usually have a low autonomy, and even take longer to run again, as recharging it obviously takes longer than stopping to fill up a conventional model.
This is where the main positive point of a hybrid car comes in: it combines the good autonomy and power of the combustion engine, with the lowest emission of pollutants and economy of the electric propulsion.
Types of hybrid cars
Now read the types of hybrid cars
1) Parallel hybrid:
The parallel hybrid combines electric and internal combustion engines to power the vehicle. They can work together or they can be used as a primary power source, while the other kicks in when extra power is needed, such as a hill climb, overtaking a vehicle, etc.
Both power sources are connected parallel to the gearbox or transmission and are therefore called “parallel”. An example of parallel hybrid cars is the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Toyota Prius, Hyundai Sonata, etc.
2) Hybrid Series
Under this type of hybrid car, gasoline internal combustion engine as well as electric motor is also used. However, the internal combustion engine does not drive the car, instead it generates electricity to recharge the battery.
The battery, in turn, powers the electric motor, which in turn sends energy to the wheels.
3) Hybrid plug-in
The Plug-in Hybrid elevates the conventional hybrid car with a much larger battery that needs charging. It usually uses a 110 volt electrical outlet to charge the battery similar to an electric car.
Since the plug-in hybrid car relies on an internal combustion engine and can run after being fully charged, there is a substantial improvement in the vehicle’s fuel efficiency.
4) Two-mode hybrid:
This kind of hybrid design operates in two different ways. In the first mode, it works like a normal hybrid card. In the second mode, the design can adjust to different engine requirements to meet specific vehicle tasks.
5) Mild hybrid:
Moderate hybrid designs have been adopted by automakers to adhere to emission regulations as well as to slightly improve fuel efficiency without increasing cost considerably.
In this type of hybrid, the electric motor assists the gasoline engine in increasing fuel efficiency, improving performance, or both. In addition, it acts as a starter for the automatic start/stop function, which switches off the engine when the vehicle stops and thus reduces fuel consumption.
Hybrid car: differences when driving
It is good to understand the proposal of hybrid models, which will allow the driver to make the most of their characteristics.
Regardless of the type of system used, the main objective is always economy. This is seen, for example, in the size of the combustion engine generally used, which is smaller than in other conventional models of the same size, and also in its operating cycle.
The electric motor also has important features that contribute to this, such as regenerative braking.
Every time the brake is applied, or even when the accelerator is released, the electric motor runs in reverse, sending energy back to the batteries.
The car’s aerodynamics and the use of tires with less resistance also make consumption drop considerably.
But all this will not have the desired effect if the driving mode is not appropriate. As the proposal is fuel economy, no sudden accelerations unnecessarily.
The all-electric mode of these models also works up to a certain speed (around 40 or 50 km/h). If it is possible to stay inside it, especially on short journeys, the savings will be greater.
A care that every driver should take when driving a hybrid model, and that all automakers warn, is exactly the fact that in electric mode it doesn’t make any noise.
That’s why you need to drive with extra attention, because pedestrians and cyclists won’t hear the car approaching.
And what are the disadvantages of the hybrid car?
The disadvantages of hybrid models are linked to the value of their components (such as batteries), their maintenance and the price of the car itself.
In addition, the performance of these models will obviously be below the conventional ones. What contributes to this, in addition to its proposal focused on fuel economy, is the higher final weight, since more components are needed in its construction.
When we talk about the hybrid car scenario in our country, the fact that the government does not give so many incentives for its purchase still weighs heavily.
This may change soon, as in January of this year the possibility of lowering the IPI rate for hybrid and electric cars was announced, which would fall from 25% to 7% (the same as for 1.0 models).
We hope you have understood the types of hybrid cars.