Hybrid Vehicle: An Alternative To Conventional Gasoline And Electric Cars



A New Emerging Breed Of Cars

The hybrid vehicle is a new breed of cars that make use of on-board rechargeable energy storage systems (or RESS, for short) combined with a power source such as fuel which can together propel the car forward. The most common form of a hybrid vehicle is the one that uses internal combustion engines coupled with electric batteries to power its electric motors. The newer hybrid vehicles such as the TOYOTA PRIUS increase the charge of its electric batteries through the use of capture of kinetic energy via regenerative braking. Along with this form of capturing of kinetic energy the TOYOTA PRIUS can, when simply cruising, generate electricity from the combustion engine through spinning of a generator that very often is a second electric motor and so recharges the battery and even directly feeds power to the motor, itself.

It was a German named Ferdinand Porsche who in 1898 designed the Lohner-Porsche carriage which was a series-hybrid vehicle that could have its internal combustion engine spins a generator to power the four-wheeled mounted electric motor. This was indeed a path breaking invention that was showcased at the 1900 World Exhibition in Paris and its 56 kmph speed broke several Austrian speed records and a total of 300 such vehicles were sold.

At present some of the most fuel efficient vehicles are hybrid vehicles because they can be configured in a number of different ways to meet different objectives. The advantage that they enjoy is that they can combine the best of fuel driven engines with the electric motor and thus make major improvements in fuel economy without any attenuation in performance or driving range. The hybrid vehicle functions much the same as an internal combustion engine but can convert energy that normally gets wasted while coasting and braking into electricity that is then stored in the battery until called for by the electric motor, again.

There are also some hybrid vehicles that automatically shut off the motor when the vehicle stops and can then automatically restart upon pressing the accelerator and so prevents energy from being wasted when the vehicle is idling. There is also no need to plug the batteries to an external source of electricity as is required by conventional electric motors because, due to regenerative braking as well as conventional gasoline are able to supply the vehicle’s complete energy requirements.


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