What are hybrid cars?
A hybrid electric vehicle is one that combines a conventional petrol or diesel engine with one or more electric motors which are powered by the battery. The motor is supposed to augment the propulsion power of the engine, although some hybrids are able to rely on electric power alone for short distances. These cars are rising in popularity due to their fuel economy advantages and reputations for being more environmentally friendly.
Diesel hybrids are much rarer than petrol ones as, despite technological advancements, combining the engines with electrical power systems is more complex and expensive. Due to the engine’s torque characteristics, diesel units do not naturally complement traction motors in the same way that most petrol units do.
How does a hybrid car work?
These vehicles typically feature an internal combustion, a motor, and a battery. However, today there are several types of hybrids on the market, and each type operates in a slightly different way.
Firstly, you should know the difference between full hybrids (FHEVs) and mild hybrids (MHEVs). MHEV systems have smaller batteries which means they do not have the capacity to run on electric power alone. The electric motor is there to give the fuel engine a boost when accelerating. Full hybrids, on the other hand, have a large enough capacity to operate in EV mode for short distances.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of hybrid vehicles?
⚠ How long do hybrid car batteries last?
These batteries are expected to last at least 10 years or 150,000 miles. Most of them are covered by a warranty, but new batteries can cost around £3000.
⚠ Are hybrids reliable?
According to one of the latest Which? car surveys, petrol hybrid cars were the most reliable when compared to other cars with other fuel types (petrol, diesel, EVs, and plug-in hybrids). Toyota and Honda are known for manufacturing highly reliable HEVs, such as the Toyota Prius and Honda Accord.
⚠ Are HEVs manual or automatic?
The large majority of hybrid vehicles are automatic, however there are some mild HEVs with manual transmissions. Adding a manual transmission system to a car that can run on all-electric power is not beneficial.