A hybrid vehicle is a vehicle which uses two or more kinds of propulsion. Most hybrid vehicles use a conventional gasoline engine as well as an electric motor to provide power to the vehicle. These are usually called hybrid-electric-vehicles, or HEVs. Hybrids use two types of propulsion in order to use gasoline more efficiently than conventional vehicles do. Most hybrid vehicles use the gasoline engine as a generator which sends power to the electric motor. The electric motor then powers the car. In conventional vehicles, the gasoline engine powers the vehicle directly.
Since the main purpose of using a hybrid system is to efficiently use resources, mosthybrid vehicles also use other efficient systems. Most hybrid vehicles have regenerative braking systems. In conventional vehicles, the gasoline engine powers the brakes, and the energy used in braking is lost. In regenerative braking systems, the energy lost in braking is sent back into theelectrical battery for use in powering the vehicle. Some hybrid vehicles use periodic engine shut-off as a gas–saving feature. When the vehicle is in idle, the engine temporarily turns off. When the vehicle is put back in gear, the engine comes back on. Some hybrids use tires made of a stiffmaterial which rolls easily and prevents drag on the vehicle.
Hybrid vehicles save up to 30% of the fuel used in conventional vehicles. Since hybrid vehicles use less gasoline, the cost of operating them is less than the cost of operating conventional vehicles. Therefore, hybrid vehicles are gaining in popularity. According to a recent study, over the five years it typically takes for a person to pay for a car, a typical hybridcar driver would save over $6,000 in gasoline costs. Almost all the world’s major automakers areplanning and producing safe and comfortable hybrid vehicles to meet the demand for these increasingly popular vehicles.
Although hybrid vehicles do represent a marked improvement in environmentally conscious engineering, there still remains one significant potential drawback: battery disposal.
Batteries are difficult to dispose of in an environmentally safe manner. To properly dispose of the battery in a hybrid car requires substantial effort. If the battery is not disposed of properly, the environmental impact of a hybrid car can be equal, if not greater than, that of a regular gas only car.
Since hybrid vehicles use less gasoline than conventional vehicles, they put feweremissions into the atmosphere than conventional vehicles do. As hybrids become more popular, conventional vehicles are being used less, and the level of emissions being put into the air is decreasing. Hybrid vehicles are an example of an energy-efficient technology that is good for both consumers and the environment.