HOW THEY WORK : “Hybrid Cars”

Hybrid cars are cars which run on rechargeable batteries and petrol engines, rather than just a gasoline engine.  As the car uses batteries they help in reducing the fuel emissions since the car runs on batteries when you are accelerating.

Hybrid cars are cars which run on rechargeable batteries and petrol engines, rather than just a gasoline engine.

As the car uses batteries they help in reducing the fuel emissions since the car runs on batteries when you are accelerating.

The world’s first hybrid car was the “Mixte”, which was built by Ferdinand Porsche in 1902. The first commercial hybrid car was Toyota Prius which was manufactured in Japan in 1997.

Have you ever wondered as to how much money you spend on an average petrol vehicle, say in a month?  As the pump prices show no signs of falling, instead they are rising by the month if not weekly.

As I write this article, I have been to the petrol station and found the prices have been adjusted upwards from the 918francs to 940francs. 

This made my mind race fast, I wondered where I would get the money to keep burning if this trend does not reverse!  I thought of the “hybrid” car. As indicated, these comprise a set of rechargeable batteries that charge as you drive on the petrol engine and then, their power is used as the engine is turned off!

There are a lot of hybrid models on the market these days, and most automobile manufacturers have announced plans to manufacture their own versions.

That said and done, how does a hybrid automobile work? What goes on under the hood to give you that extra mileage as compared to the ordinary motor vehicle?  Some people have already acquired one for or the other of the hybrid vehicle at some point.

For example, a MO-PED (a motorized pedal bike) is a type of hybrid because it combines the power of a petrol engine with the pedal power of its rider. In fact, hybrid vehicles are all around us.

Most of the airports use cars that are powered by electricity (high capacity rechargeable batteries).

Any vehicle that combines two or more sources of power that can directly or indirectly provide propulsion power is a hybrid. Most hybrid cars on the road right now are petrol –E lectric hybrids, although French car maker PSA Peugeot Citroen has two diesel-electric hybrid cars in the works.  Since petrol hybrids are the kind are most common ones, we shall closely look at those.

The petrol-electric hybrid car is just what it sounds like, a cross between a petrol-powered car and an electric car.  This car has a fuel tank, which supplies petrol to the engine.

The engine then turns the transmission, which turns the wheels. An electric car, on the other hand, has a set of batteries that provides electricity to an electric motor.

The motor turns the transmission, and the transmission turns the wheels.  In other words, both the engine and the electric motors are in one way or the other linked to the gear box in order to turn the wheel in a similar way. 

The hybrid is a compromise. It attempts to significantly increase the mileage and reduce the emissions of a petrol-powered car while overcoming the shortcomings of an electric car.

To be useful to you or me, a car must meet certain minimum requirements. The car should be able to Drive at least about 400 km before re-fueling, it should be refueled quickly and easily, it should be able to move at the same speed as the other cars on the roads. 

A petrol car meets these requirements but produces a large amount of pollution and generally gets poor mileage per littre. An electric car, however, produces almost no pollution, but it can only go 80 to 160 km between charges. And the problem has been that the electric car is very slow and inconvenient to recharge.  

In that case, the Hybrid (petrol-electric car combines these two setups into one system that combines both petrol power and electric power.

eddie@afrowebs.com

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