Hybrid cars are becoming more and more, the demand for them is constantly growing, which prompts manufacturers to develop in this area and to develop new, even more perfect and demanded models of cars with hybrid powertrain system.
What is a hybrid (hybrid car)
The first Toyota Prius hybrid appeared in the 1990s, and the Japanese were the pioneers in this field. The event was revolutionary, and for the consumer such a car was something as unique as genetic engineering.
The essence of a hybrid is the combination of two different generations of mechanical energy, as a result of which it was possible to embody in the vehicle the best characteristics of a traditional internal combustion engine and an electric motor. When creating hybrids, manufacturers have different goals in mind:
- minimizing harmful emissions into the atmosphere;
- Increasing the performance and overall power of the powertrain;
- reducing the amount of fuel consumed.
Fuel consumption in hybrids is reduced due to the fact that the electric motor is connected at the start and during acceleration (i.e. at low speeds). And these are the most critical moments of engine operation, when the internal combustion engine burns maximum fuel. At the same time, on the highway, when the car is gaining speed, the internal combustion engine works in the most optimal mode with minimal fuel consumption.
What types of hybrid autos are available
Hybrids come in several types and differ in their functionality.
Three main types of hybrids are distinguished:
- MHEV is the simplest (mild hybrid).
- The HEV is a classic hybrid.
- The PHEV is a hybrid with full pure electric driving and recharging capabilities.
The article “Most fuel efficient hybrid SUVs” can help with choosing the best car with hybrid powertrain. And in this article, we will look at the features and benefits of each type of hybrid.
In the MHEV system, the electric system is designed solely for starting and stopping the engine, for example, when it is necessary to shut off the engine at traffic lights, in traffic jams, and then start driving again. Traditionally, such a hybrid uses an AGM battery, but in more modern models, an accumulating lithium-ion battery is installed, which not only transfers energy to the starter, but also ensures its operation in the first seconds of starting the movement. This system has become widespread. It has helped to reduce atmospheric emissions and fuel consumption by about 5-10%.
- compact, simple design;
- inexpensive system;
- versatility of the system for virtually any vehicle and engine type.
Minuses of the system:
- The lack of pure electric propulsion capability;
- negligible fuel economy.
This is exactly the type of hybrid that motorists are familiar with, and which Toyota actively uses in its models – RAV4, Camry, C-HR, Corolla. In HEV hybrids, the power of electric motors can be comparable to that of internal combustion engines, and thanks to the elaborate system of the hybrid, each motor in its own mode works as efficiently as possible. The electric motor operates at low speed and can travel up to 2.5 kilometers without turning on the internal combustion engine. This mode already allows significant savings on fuel, and the volume of exhaust gases is reduced by 1.5 times compared to the internal combustion engine.
The system has a more complex design. In addition to the battery, there is also an electric motor and electronic control unit, a complex transmission system.
- lower costs;
- improved dynamics;
- higher power and efficiency;
- the possibility of short-term electric propulsion.
Disadvantages of the system:
- A significant increase in the value of the auto;
- the need to adapt the car’s systems to the hybrid.
This is an option for those who expect full freedom and maximum efficiency from a hybrid. The PHEV system makes it possible to drive within city boundaries without refueling, as the battery capacity is sufficient for at least 20 km, and some models – for more than 100 km without recharging. Such a battery can be recharged both at recharging stations and from the home network. Buying such a hybrid, you get an electric car and an internal combustion engine car in one copy.
- pure electric propulsion;
- Equipping all-wheel drive is an option not available on other types of hybrid;
- a significant increase in power;
- increasing the distance that can be traveled without refueling;
- significant reduction in fuel consumption.
- the most complex design;
- the most expensive variant of the hybrid car.
Advantages of hybrids
The main advantages of hybrid cars:
- Fuel Economy. Hybrids have a fuel economy of at least 15% and some models up to 40% compared to internal combustion engine vehicles. This fuel economy not only saves you money. You also save time, as the vehicle does not require frequent refueling.
- Eco-friendliness. This is an advantage with an added bonus. First of all, hybrids are less harmful to the environment. And at the same time, states around the world have a policy of loyalty towards owners of eco-friendly cars (lower tax rates or tax exemption).
- Driving comfort. Hybrids are characterized by excellent dynamics, smooth movement, so they are comfortable to drive.
Minuses of hybrid cars
Nothing is perfect, and hybrids have their flaws, too. Among them:
- higher cost compared to internal combustion engine vehicles;
- high quality requirements and higher cost of service;
- insufficiently developed network of gas stations for electric and hybrid cars, as well as maintenance services in some countries.