What is a Hybrid Car?

서울운전연수 A hybrid car uses both petrol and electricity to move the vehicle. They use the electric motor when possible for quieter, cleaner driving but turn to petrol when the battery runs low.


The most common design combines the gasoline engine and electric motor in a single transmission. This is known as the parallel hybrid layout. This is the system used in Toyota Prius and other popular hybrid vehicles.

The History

While hybrid cars may seem like a miracle of 21st century automotive wizardry, the technology dates back to the end of the 19th century.

The first hybrid vehicle was developed by a coach builder named Jacob Lohner, who wanted to get around noisy and smelly diesel engines in his carriages. Lohner hired a young engineer called Ferdinand Porsche to create an electric solution. Porsche designed a series hybrid system using hub-mounted electric motors powered by a battery and a small petroleum engine generator. The car was able to reach speeds of up to 56km/h.

However, the car never became very popular due to its high price and the onset of the assembly-line gas-powered car revolution. Hybrid vehicles would have to wait for thirty years until soaring oil prices and dwindling supplies brought renewed attention to the concept.

Today서울운전연수 , there are a variety of hybrid systems that vary in design and functionality. The most common is a parallel hybrid, which uses a conventional gasoline engine to drive the wheels most of the time, with an electric motor providing additional power when needed. The Honda Accord Hybrid and BMW i8 are examples of this type. More exotic hybrids, such as McLaren’s P1 road car, use a high-performance petrol/electric powertrain to deliver incredible acceleration and fuel efficiency. The McLaren combines a 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8 petrol engine with an electric motor capable of producing up to 176bhp, utilising energy recovery from the F1 team’s track systems.

The Technology

A Hybrid car combines an internal combustion engine with one or more electric motors to get the best of both worlds. This allows for much better fuel economy than a conventional gas-powered vehicle, as well as reducing emissions and CO2 output.

A key part of hybrid technology is regenerative braking, which converts kinetic energy into electricity to recharge the battery. This can help a hybrid drive with zero tailpipe emissions, especially at lower speeds where most of its driving occurs.

There are three main types of hybrid. Full hybrids are the most common and can run on electric power alone or alongside a petrol engine. They also have the ability to be plugged in and drive as an all-electric vehicle for short distances.

Parallel hybrids use an electric motor to drive the wheels, with the petrol engine providing a boost for acceleration and overtaking. This type is a bit less efficient than a full hybrid, but it’s still significantly cleaner and quieter than a standard gasoline-powered car at most speeds.

A third design is a through-the-road hybrid, which uses a traditional petrol front-wheel-drive engine and transmission paired with an electrically powered rear axle. This is the design used in the Acura NSX, BMW i8, and Porsche 918 Spyder supercars. The engine turns a generator most of the time, like in a series hybrid, but can also directly drive the rear wheels like in a parallel hybrid.

The Benefits

Hybrids offer immediate torque from their electric motors, which make driving a more responsive and smooth experience than traditional cars. They’re great at city traffic and are efficient in short stretches of highway. When a driver hits the brakes, the hybrid’s regenerative system turns some of that momentum into electricity that’s used to recharge its battery—which also cuts down on gas emissions.

However, when you’re traveling long distances and accelerating quickly on the highway, a hybrid may not perform as well as a regular gasoline-powered car. That’s why it’s important to consider your driving habits and choose the best hybrid for you.

Additionally, hybrids often require less maintenance than standard engines because they can run on both gasoline and electricity. For example, they typically don’t need a starter or alternator and usually have lower oil and coolant needs than other vehicles.

In addition, hybrids use regenerative braking to create electricity that’s used to recharge the battery during slowing and deceleration. This technology offsets the engine’s friction, which reduces wear and tear.

If you’re thinking about buying a hybrid, you may be able to find one with a lower price tag thanks to a variety of local and federal incentives. You should also consider the price of your vehicle insurance, which can be cheaper if you buy a hybrid. Getting pre-approved for a loan from an online lender like Auto Credit Express is a good way to start your car shopping and get your financing in order.

The Cost

The hybrid version of a car typically costs more than its gas-only counterpart, due to the fact that it usually comes with additional equipment. But in the long run, it can save you money on running costs like fuel and insurance.

Hybrids often use special tires that are designed to reduce mechanical drag (tires are often built to provide a smooth ride and high grip, which requires the engine to work harder, consuming more fuel). Additionally, hybrids often feature electrical power steering and other auxiliary systems, rather than mechanical belts that require a lot of energy to operate.

Some banks, particularly credit unions, offer a discount on loan rates for hybrid buyers. And some auto insurers, such as Farmers and Geico, offer discounted rates on hybrid cars in some states.

But whether a hybrid is right for you depends on how and where you drive. If you do most of your driving around town and in stop-and-go traffic, a hybrid could be the best way to go. Hybrids are at their most efficient in this kind of driving, while EVs are the most efficient when going long distances on motorways. Try out our Honest John fuel cost calculator to see how much you can save on your monthly running costs by choosing a hybrid.