Hybrid technology in cars: how does it work?

Hybrid cars are the most widespread among the "green" vehicles at the moment. Experts call them one of the most promising and converge in forecasts for the upcoming global hybridization of the automotive market.




  • Hybrid automotive technology involves the use of two or more power sources and/or drive types;
  • Redistribution and storage of energy occurs during movement (socket is not required);
  • Such vehicles produce less harmful emissions, they are more dynamic and consume less fuel.


The principle of the hybrid vehicle


The most common hybrid scheme in a personal vehicle is "petrol engine + electric motor". Each of the engines is automatically switched on in modes where its performance is highest or when another engine can not cope with the load. Thus, in a modern hybrid car, at one point in time, one or two engines can operate simultaneously. Each car of this type has a powerful "control center" that analyzes the working conditions and manages the work of each of the engines.


Two drive circuits


For modern hybrid cars, there are two variants of the drive, each of which has its advantages and disadvantages:


  • The first torque is transmitted from the internal combustion engine directly to the wheels, as in traditional cars. The electric motor drives another pair of wheels or transmits its torque through the main drive system to the same driving wheels;
  • The second option does not imply a direct connection between the internal combustion engine and the wheels. This unit is used as an electric current generator, which feeds electromotors or recharges battery vehicles of a vehicle.




In terms of power and other technical characteristics, hybrid cars are almost always and for most indicators are better than their counterparts, built according to the traditional scheme. In addition, it is in such models that more often you can find advanced technology that does not directly affect the management process, but make the operation of the car more comfortable.


Motion in different modes


The electric motor has a relatively high torque and is effective with minimum revs. The internal combustion engine, in turn, is better to use in a uniform motion of the vehicle at high speeds. The combined system allows you to get rid of or minimize the disadvantages of each of them.


Savings in the city / outside the city


The use of a powertrain (for example, for traffic in tanks) or a combination of both engines is characterized mainly for urban traffic conditions. This greatly reduces fuel consumption. In the out-of-town cycle, the electric motor in most modern hybrids is not used at all or is used very rarely (for example, if intensive acceleration is required). In this regard, the economy in such conditions in comparison with ordinary cars is almost imperceptible or absent at all.




Most users note the characteristic "trolley" nature of the acceleration of hybrid cars. The presence of an electric drive allows you to obtain a significant torque from the very beginning of the movement, which dramatically influences the dynamic characteristics.




In "ordinary" auto, braking energy is converted into heat (heated brake discs and pads) and dissipated into the environment. In the hybrid car effort required to slow or stop the vehicle, it is created by an electric motor, which operates in generator mode (recovery). Generated as a result of this electricity is accumulated in batteries for further use.


Charging from the wall outlet


The concept of a "Plug-in hybrid car", that is, a hybrid car that can be charged from the socket, allows it to be used as a classic electric vehicle on short distances. The technology is rapidly gaining in popularity and is already being used by practically all major hybrid car makers. Additional energy from an ordinary home socket allows you to reduce the average fuel consumption and increase mileage exclusively on the electric motor.




Hybrid versions cost an average of 20% more than their traditional counterparts. However, they practically do not differ in the cost of operation, since the equipment of the additional electric drive is relatively simple and quite reliable.