What Is Hybrid Car Technology: A Comprehensive Guide

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You probably have heard about hybrid models of different vehicles and wish to understand what the term “hybrid” actually means?

You will learn What Is Hybrid Car Technology in the world of tech, This blog post is a comprehensive guide that shows you everything you need to know.

Some people think hybrid cars are some kind of electric vehicles; well, Hybrid cars aren’t Elon’s Telsa, and they are not actually electric cars.

This article is explains everything you need to know about what is hybrid car technology, how they came into existence, and how the tech has rapidly improved over a short time.

What is a hybrid car?

The word “Hybrid” simply means the crossing (mixture or combination) of two or more things; it could be crossing two or more algorithms, tech, elements, strain, etc.

So, hybrid cars literally mean cars that are built with more than one technology.

Thus, in simple terms, a hybrid car uses petrol/diesel and electricity to function.

It hides dual engines, which are an electric motor and a combustion engine.

While the electric motor on hybrid cars runs at low speed, the car’s combustion engine starts up when the car speeds up.

One major reason to love these cars is that they are fuel-economy rides. A hybrid vehicle saves a lot of fuel; this is because, sometimes, it is the electric motor that does all the work, while sometimes it is the gasoline engine.

So, when the electric motor is doing the job, your petrol remains untouched. You want to check our blog post about Car safety features.

Nevertheless, sometimes too, both the electric motor and the gasoline engine work together at the same time; this also saves fuel.

Many have seen this type of car as a more beneficial option than all-electric cars; do you yield to this claim?

Well, get to know more about hybrids, and then we can return to this question.

Since hybrid cars are becoming much more popular of recent, it is wise that you understand the technology to see if your next ride should be a “hybrid” model.

What Is Hybrid Car Technology

You will find at least one electric motor paired with a gasoline engine in a hybrid car; if there is no electric motor on the car, then it’s not a hybrid vehicle.

However, the electric motor is not required to be charged; it draws its energy via a process referred to as “regenerative braking” that occurs when decelerating the car (the combustion engine is the main thing here).

Hence, it is safe to say that in a hybrid car, the electric motor relies on the gasoline engine (combustion engine) to charge its high-voltage battery pack (not the conventional 12-volt battery on other cars).

The battery is liable to power auxiliary loads when the car stops.

Different automakers use different types of hybrid designs and technologies; the hybrid tech used by Toyota is liable to differ from the hybrid tech used by Hyundai.

However, the key determinant factor that decides the hybrid tech to use in designing a particular model is the “Purpose” it is meant to serve.

When a manufacturer is looking to design a hybrid model that will offer maximum fuel-economy, the tech used may differ from the one used on another (hybrid) model that is meant to serve as a budget/entry-level trim.

Types of Hybrid Vehicles

Parallel Hybrid

Parallel hybrid vehicles have their electric motor(s) and the combustion engine connected to a single transmission.  This is the commonest and most affordable hybrid car type you will see.

The transmission that connects the electric motor and gasoline engine together can be a manual transmission, an automatic transition, or a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT); the point is, there is just one single transmission that blends the dual power sources the car requires to functions.

Different brands may pick up different transmissions for their parallel hybrid vehicles; however, the most commonly used transmission for parallel hybrid cars is the power-split CVT.

This particular transmission is what you will see on Toyota Prius, Chevrolet Volt, Kia, and Ford hybrid models.

Among the top factors that tell how a hybrid vehicle will sound, feel, or accelerate includes the gasoline engine and transmission type used.

Manufacturers like Toyota/Lexus, Kia, Ford, Honda, Lincoln, Infiniti, Nissan, and Hyundai design parallel hybrid cars.

Series Hybrid / Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV)

Unlike parallel hybrid cars, in series hybrids, the electric motor(s) is fully in charge of the thrusts, and it is not connected with the gasoline engine to a transmission.

Instead, the gasoline engine is only available to recharge the electric motor’s battery.

Also, in series hybrids, there is no physical connection between the engine and wheels; instead, the combustion engine powers an electric generator that indirectly puts the wheels to action.

This type of hybrid vehicles can be referred to as battery electric vehicle (BEV) since it is the combustion engine that battery

In other words, it is safe to say that series hybrid vehicles offer the feeling and experience of riding an all-electric vehicle.

Reportedly, series hybrids offer smoother and more powerful acceleration; when the car switches/engages the gasoline engine, the vibration is almost insignificant compared to parallel hybrids.

An example of series hybrid vehicles is the BMW i3 (range extender).

Note: in a Series hybrid vehicle, the gasoline engine does nothing but recharge the electric battery.

Also, this hybrid type is usually more expensive than parallel hybrid vehicles.

Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV)

The third type of hybrids is the plug-in hybrid. It appears more advanced than series and parallel hybrids with a larger battery pack.

A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) is such an electric vehicle you could recharge the battery by plugging it to an external power source.

However, it can also be charged by the onboard gasoline engine. They are closely similar to all-electric vehicles.

PHEVs transfer emissions from the tailpipe to the generators powering the electricity grid.

Riding a PHEV saves you some reasonable operating costs.

There are quite different types of PHEVs available as passenger cars, commercial vehicles, and vans, buses, trains, etc.

Mild Hybrids

Parallel, series, and plug-in hybrids are generally classified as “full hybrids” because the electric motor could power the vehicle on its own.

In contrast, “Mild Hybrids” feature an electric motor that is available to helpthe gasoline engine.

This can result in an improved fuel economy or performance or both.

However, the fuel economy offered by “full hybrids” beat that of “mild hybrids.”

Hence, full hybrids remain more popular than mild hybrids.

Main Components of a Hybrid Electric Car

There are quite many components to see on a hybrid car; however, here, we focused on the major ones you will most likely see on all hybrids.

Battery (auxiliary)

All hybrid vehicles come with a conventional battery that assists/recharges the electric motor.

Normally, the battery is engaged after the electric motor has already powered the car to a certain speed or length.

Also, it is the battery that powers most of the vehicle’s accessories.

Electric generator

All hybrid cars come with electric generators. These electric generators draw power in the form of electricity from the wheels when the driver applies brakes.

In some hybrid models, the generator(s)is designed to drive the car, as well as regenerate energy.

DC/DC converter

A DC/DC converterconverts the DC power from the traction battery pack, which has higher-voltage to the required lower-voltage DC power to run some of the vehicle accessories or recharge the aux battery.

Gasoline fuel tank

Of course, a hybrid uses gasoline (though the usage is usually low); hence, hybrid cars also come with a fuel tank for storing gasoline for the combustion engine.

Exhaust system

Typically, on hybrid vehicles, a3-way catalyst is designed to minimize engine-out emissions in the exhaust system.

Already, you should know that the function of the exhaust system in any car is to provide a channel where exhaust gases from the engine can be removed from via a tailpipe.

Electric traction motor

Every hybrid vehicle comes with an electric motor that (except for series or plug-in hybrids) works together with the engine, and is connected to a transmission alongside the combustionengine.

The electric motor utilizes power from the traction battery pack to drive the car wheels.

Internal combustion engine

The internal combustion engine works this way: fuel is infused into the combustion chamber or an intake manifold – there; the fuel is mixed with air and is kindled by a spark from the spark plug.

Thermal cooling system

The presence of this system in a hybrid vehicle regulates the car’s operating temperature to keep it at a suitable range so that the car runs smoothly and all the components function efficiently.

Power electronics controller

As the name implies, this component helps to regulate electrical energy from the traction battery back.

It also manages the speed and torque of the electric motor.

Traction battery pack

Simply, this is the battery that powers the electric motor; it is rechargeable, and in PHEVs, this battery can be recharged using an external power source.


The function of a transmission system on conventional vehicles is also its function on hybrid vehicles.

It pushes mechanical power from the engine and/or electric motor to the wheels.

Can A Conventional Hybrid Vehicle Run On Electricity When It Runs Out Of Fuel?

The simple answer is NO. Hybrid vehicles cannot run only on electricity if there is no fuel left in the car.

Nevertheless, when there is fuel in the tank, the car could run on electric-only mode (especially serials and plug-in hybrid vehicles).

Attempting to ride a hybrid vehicle without filling your gasoline tank (thinking it would run with electric-only) can cause serious damages.

Should I Buy A Hybrid Car?

Well, this can be pointed down to individual preference; some people may prefer all-electric cars to hybrids, or hybrids to conventional cars.

Some others may just stick with conventional (gas-powered) cars. However, here’s a great piece of information you’ll love to know about hybrid vehicles.

A hybrid car can be a great investment if you think it matches your driving needs and lifestyle.

Below are some key takeaways about hybrid vehicles.

  • Hybrids come with a battery and an electric motor; however, the battery on hybrids is usually smaller than what you see on all-electric vehicles.
  • Without gasoline, you cannot ride a hybrid car, even though the fuel consumption is very low.
  • A hybrid car can run on electric-only mode for a limited range and then engages the engine (gasoline) for a long drive.
  • Owning a hybrid model will definitely save you reasonable fuel costs as you would not have to refill your tank frequently.
  • For a driver that frequently goes on long trips, hybrids may not be your best option.
  • Some hybrids provide options for different power modes; this varies by the model and automaker. The purpose of the car can also affect the supported modes.
  • Most hybrid models have a variant that’s just the normal (conventional) car, you know.
  • The gasoline engine on a series hybrid vehicle does practically nothing but to recharge the electric battery; however, for long-distance travel, the engine can be engaged; the transmission is almost insignificant that the driver may not feel the vibration.
  • There are hybrid vans, trucks, military vehicles, buses, and virtually all kinds of cars, you know.

In general, hybrids are cool if you do more of short trips; they are fuel-economy cars and provide almost the same experience from riding all-electric vehicles.

Major Difference(S) Between Parallel, Series, and Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles

  • A parallel hybrid vehicle has its electric motor/system connected to a transmission alongside a conventional Internal Combustion Engine (ICE); this is not the same with Series hybrid and PHEVs.
  • Only Plug-In Hybrid Vehicle (PHEV) batteries can be recharged through an external electrical power source.
  • Parallel, Series, and Plug-In Hybrids are all referred to as “Full Hybrids.” There are “Mild Hybrid” vehicles, but they are not as popular as these “Full Hybrid” models.

What more?

This is an informative article about hybrid car technology.

Hopefully, this blog has covered every information and clarified several questions you may want to ask about hybrids.

More auto news, articles, and recommendations can be read from our homepage.

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