A hybrid car, in a nutshell, can run on two fuels. Mostly, it will be a combination of an internal combustion engine and an electric motor. The electric motor will be driven by a battery pack and/or regenerative braking. Regenerative braking is an energy recovery mechanism in which the kinetic energy is converted to electric energy. The electric motor, during braking, acts as an electric generator and uses the vehicle’s momentum to recover the energy which would otherwise be lost to the brakes as heat. It significantly increases the life of brake pads and braking systems.
Hybrids can also conserve the energy by shutting down the IC engine while idling or when electric motor’s energy is sufficient enough to drive the vehicle. Hybrids have a wide range of advantages over conventional engines such as reduced pollution, excellent fuel economy and better performance. Though in concept all hybrids work on the same principle, there are different ways to utilize the energy in a hybrid.
They have both the electric and IC engine connected through a common transmission. They can either run in tandem or one can be used when extra power is required for better acceleration.
In this type of hybrids, the IC engine is used to generate electric power which can then be used to run the car or charge the battery for later use.
Plug-in hybrids will have a larger battery pack and can be charged at an ordinary power socket with the appropriate specifications at home or office. The battery pack can run the car for long ranges without even starting the IC engine significantly improving the fuel efficiency. As soon as the charge is depleted, they will switch back to standard parallel hybrids. Plug-in hybrids or PHEVs have become common in the US and Europe these days.
Advantages of Hybrid Cars
- They are environment friendly. This is one of the major reasons they are being promoted and used massively in the market. They are not only cleaner but more efficient than conventional IC engines. Even when the electric motor and the IC engine are working together, the emissions are significantly less.
- In order to reduce emissions, the governments of various countries are promoting hybrids through subsidies and tax exemptions. Hence they are comparatively cheaper than a fully electric car.
- Regenerative braking not only increases the life of braking systems but charges the battery as well.
- Hybrids have good resale value too. As the gasoline prices fluctuate throughout the year causing more people to shift towards hybrids. People are willing to pay a good price even for a used hybrid.
Disadvantages of Hybrid Cars
- As there are dual engines, the maintenance of hybrids can be a bit tricky and difficult.
- The battery usually has a good long life and the manufacturer provides warranty also. However, if it needs to be replaced out of warranty, it may burn a hole in your pocket.
- They are not as powerful as a pure electric or IC engines. The presence of dual engines can reduce the size of IC engine and cause reduced performance than the IC engine variants of the same model.
- Hybrids are still a bit polluting than a pure electric car, though much less than an IC engine. But still, as technologies have advanced, the hybrids are more inclined towards pros than cons
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Hybrid Cars in India
|MG Hector||Rs.14 Lakh – Rs.17 Lakh|
|Toyota Camry||Rs. 37.5 Lakh|
|Toyota Glanza||Rs. 7.22 Lakh|
|BMW – 7 Series||Rs. 1.65 Cr|
|Toyota Vellfire||Rs. 79 Lakh|
|Toyota Prius||Rs. 45 Lakh|
|Lexus LC||Rs. 1.90 Cr|
|Lexus NX||Rs. 54 Lakh – Rs. 58 Lakh|
|Lexus RX||Rs. 99 Lakh – Rs 1.30 Cr|
|Honda Accord||Rs 43 Lakh|