The dictionary defines hybrid as something of mixed origin. A hybrid vehicle is one that combines a smaller than normal internal combustion gasoline engine with an electric motor. An engine that combines two or more sources of power is called a hybrid engine.
Typical features in a hybrid include the following:
• Produces much less power than an average
• Produces much less pollution than standard gasoline cars
• Usually constructed of ultra light weight materials like carbon fiber or aluminum to overcome the power gap.
• Generally designed to be more aerodynamic than most cars, allowing them to “slice” through the air instead of pushing it out of the way
• A process called regenerative braking is employed to store the kinetic energy generated by brake use in the batteries, which in turn will power the electric motor.
• Electric power is used at starts and stops, low speeds (generally below 25 km/hr)
• Gasoline engine comes to play at cruising or highway speeds
There are two types of gasoline-electric hybrids:
• Parallel hybrid:
Gasoline engine and electric motor work together to move the car forward
• Series hybrid
Gasoline engine either directly powers an electric motor that powers the vehicle, or changes batteries.
Hybrids achieve improved efficiencies using several approaches:
• Employ regenerative braking to recover energy and downsize or right size the engine or primary power source.
• Control the engine or primary power source to operate more efficiently and/or work more often in a more efficient range.