Hybrid Fuel Cars
A car that uses two or more distinct power sources as fuels is a hybrid car. The common type of hybrid car is one with a combination of internal combustion engine and electric motors. Hybrid cars may use a combination of various power sources like gasoline, hydrogen, compressed air, solar, wind and waste heat. A hybrid vehicle combines the advantages of a conventional internal combustion powered vehicle and rechargeable energy storage system for achieving better fuel economy. The electrical energy produced in these cars through internal combustion engines and the kinetic energy produced through regenerative braking mechanism is stored in batteries or directly fed to the electric motors to drive the vehicle. Many hybrid cars have mechanisms where the internal combustion engine is shutdown when idle and restarted when required to provide better fuel efficiency. Hybrid car engines are capable of running at various speeds providing better efficiency.
Type of fuels used
Hybrid cars use multiple fuelling technologies to power the vehicle at higher fuel efficiencies compared to the traditional internal combustion engine cars. Hybrid cars are classified based on the fuel system combinations they use. Parallel hybrid cars use an electric motor along with an internal combustion engine. These cars run on the electrical energy at low speed, and as the demand for acceleration increases, it switches the operation to the internal combustion engine. The electrical energy stored also supplements the internal combustion engine during times when maximum energy is required. In series hybrid cars, the single speed internal combustion engines drive an electric generator instead of driving the wheels directly. The mild parallel hybrid, plug-in hybrid electrical vehicle and fuel cell hybrid are other forms of hybrid cars in the market.
The larger the motor and battery of the hybrid car, the better is the fuel efficiency achieved. Much of the fuel efficiency in a hybrid car comes from the improvements in aerodynamics, weight reduction and smaller engines.
Pros and cons of the fuel
The hybrid fuel cars reduce the emission level by reducing the consumption of the fuel. The hybrid cars offer better mileage compared to the internal combustion engine cars. The electric motor does not use any energy during idle and they use less energy than gas motors at low speed. Gas motors perform better at higher speeds delivering more power. The combination of these two motors and features result in a much better performance of the hybrid fuel cars. The gas motor charges the batteries while running. The kinetic energy produced during braking is also converted to electrical energy and stored in the batteries to achieve better fuel efficiency.
Hybrid cars come with a complex mechanism of double motors and managing accessories, plus a regenerative energy storing mechanism and large battery. So these cars are highly expensive. The heavy initial cost of buying a hybrid car which can be compensated only by running the vehicle for many long years is another disadvantage of hybrid cars. .
Hybrid Car Use in different countries
The hybrid car market is booming up at a fast rate in most of the countries. Many automobile giants have launched the hybrid versions of their best selling models. Hybrid cars are considered as the cars of near future. Today’s global hybrid car market is up and active with many high volume, well priced options for hybrid car buyers. New plug-in hybrids and hybrid SUVs are seen making debuts in the global market. The hybrid car sales are expected to expand at a rate greater than 3%. The Honda Insight and Toyota Prius are some of the best available hybrid cars in the world. The global hybrid car market has seen launch of new cars like Ford Escape Hybrid, Honda Civic Hybrid, Mercury Mariner Hybrid, Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid, Ford Fusion Hybrid, Mercedes S-class Hybrid, Lexus Hybrid and BMW 7-series Hybrid and many more. This proves out very clearly the rise of the hybrid fuel car market.
Environmental benefits of Hybrid Cars
Hybrid cars offer many green advantages. The lesser consumption of hybrid fuel for the same range, results in lesser emission levels. This is one environmental benefit of using hybrid cars. In large cities with heavy pollution, hybrid cars can make a difference with lesser emissions at low speed and traffic jams. A hybrid car cuts the emission up to 25% compared to the best fuel efficient gas fuelled cars available in the market.
Reliability of Hybrid Fuel Cars
The heavy complex engine structure can result in more unexpected failures and thus reducing the reliability of the hybrid cars. The motors and batteries used in the hybrid cars do not require any maintenance over the life of the vehicle. The maintenance cost and servicing frequency of the hybrid engines is similar to that of normal cars. As the hybrid cars use regenerative braking, the braking pads in these cars are seen to last longer than normal cars. The only maintenance these cars require may be the replacement of the air filter on some battery systems. Oil changes and similar maintenance done in regular fuel cars need to be done in hybrid cars also. Periodic plugging of the battery for charging is not required in a hybrid car as the battery gets automatically charged with regenerative braking. Due to this the battery is never fully discharged nor charged there by increasing its life. The maintenance cost is considerable low due to the decreased wear and tear on the engine and braking system.
Cost of the fuel
In the UK, the vehicle excise duty on low carbon emitted cars including the hybrid fuel ones is reduced to increase the popularity and usage of them thereby saving the environment. The road tax on these vehicles has been slashed by the government as an initiative for supporting an emission free world. .
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