What Really Makes A Hybrid Car A “Hybrid”?

In recent years as the trend of being environmentally-friendly has risen, many car owners have switched to driving hybrid vehicles in the attempt to conserve energy, cut costs, and “go green.”

Although the general public understands that these hybrid vehicles present many benefits in terms of using less energy and being more efficient with gas, not many people are actually aware of how hybrid technology works, and what actually makes a hybrid car classified as a hybrid.

Overall, the automobile manufacturing industry puts these cars into their own classification because of the unique technology systems that they use in order to switch between fuel energy and electric energy while driving, and their ability to maximize the fuel efficiency based on driving environment, speed, and other factors.

Technology Behind Hybrid Cars: Economy of Fuel and Energy

Hybrid electric vehicles are an amazing technological feat in that they conserve energy while operating while maximizing power or auxiliary power through shifts in energy source. The technological advances in recent decades have made it possible for these cars to fulfill many different objectives while on the road. For example, one of the biggest technologies used by hybrid cars includes regenerative braking.

In this instance, the wheels are used as an energy source within the car, helping to generate energy and convert that into energy within the motor. In other words, all of that energy that is usually going to waste when the driver brakes and cruises at a particular speed are then regenerated into the battery.

Another technology that makes hybrid cars unique is the electric motor drive and assist. The motor provides the power for low-speed driving conditions, so that gas is not wasted since the internal combustion engines are not at all efficient when cars have to drive slowly.

The electric motor is therefore what provides the power when a car needs to climb a hill, accelerate on the road, or switch speeds unexpectedly (such as when passing another vehicle on the road).

A final technology worth mentioning helps prevent energy to be wasted when the car is idle: automatic start and shut-off. When the vehicle comes to a full stop, the engine actually turns off – and is restarted when the gas pedal is pressed once again. It is truly amazing how all of these technologies come together to prevent waste and increase fuel economy within a vehicle.

Safety of Hybrid Cars:

Whether your car is a hybrid electric vehicle (HEVs), all-electric vehicle (EVs) or a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEVs), the requirements of safety of your local and national departments of transportation must be met.

For this reason, there is a lot of regulation surrounding the safety of these hybrid and non-standard energy vehicles – and manufacturers are keeping safety as a top priority as they design their vehicles and create manuals for driving and safety.

Regardless of what kind of car you drive, it is imperative to remember that safety is your own primary responsibility while driving. Though driving a hybrid car may add some additional safety benefits for you and your fellow passengers, it is also important to know that other factors can come into play and affect your ability to operate a vehicle safely.

The environment in which you drive is a key consideration, as well as your handedness, use (or lack thereof) of cell phones while driving, and average driving speed. Driving a “safe” vehicle matters very little when the operator of the vehicle does not drive safely or follow the rules of the road – so it is important to remember to keep this focus on safety in mind.