Hybrid technology in cars: how does it work?

Hybrid technology in cars: how does it work?

Hybrid cars are the most common at the moment among green vehicles. Experts call them one of the most promising and agree on the projections 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;
  • The redistribution and storage of energy occurs during movement (socket is optional);
  • Such vehicles produce less harmful emissions, are more dynamic and consume less fuel.


The principle of operation of a hybrid vehicle


The most common hybrid scheme in personal transport is "gasoline engine + electric motor". Each of the engines is switched on automatically in modes when its performance is at its highest or when the other engine cannot cope with the load. Thus, in a modern hybrid car at one point in time can run one or two engines at the same time. Each car of this type has a powerful "control center", which analyzes the operating conditions and controls the operation of each of the engines.


Two drive circuits


Modern hybrid cars are characterized by two drive variants, each with its own advantages and disadvantages:


  • In 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 drive wheels;
  • The second option does not involve a direct connection between the internal combustion engine and the wheels. This unit is used as an electric current generator that feeds electric motors or charges the vehicle's battery pack.




In terms of power and other specifications, hybrid cars are almost always, and in most respects, better than their traditional counterparts. In addition, it is in such models that you can often find advanced technologies that do not directly affect the control process, but make the car more comfortable.


Movement in different modes


The electric motor has relatively high torque and is efficient at minimum speed. The internal combustion engine, in turn, is better used when driving the vehicle at high speeds. The combined system eliminates or minimizes the disadvantages of each.


Savings in city / city


The use of solely electric traction (for example, traffic congestion) or the combined operation of both engines is characteristic of urban traffic conditions. This significantly reduces fuel consumption. In the out-of-country cycle, the motor in most modern hybrids is not used at all or is used very rarely (for example, when intensive acceleration is required). In this regard, the savings in such conditions compared to conventional cars is almost imperceptible or even absent.




Most users note the characteristic "trolleybus" nature of acceleration of hybrid cars. The presence of the actuator allows to obtain considerable torque from the very beginning of the movement, which dramatically affects the dynamic characteristics.




In "ordinary" cars, the braking energy is converted into thermal energy (the brake discs and pads are heated) and dissipated into the environment. In hybrid cars, the effort required to slow down or stop the vehicle is created by an electric motor operating in generator mode (recovery). The resulting electricity accumulates in the batteries for later use.


Recharge from socket


The concept of a plug-in hybrid car, a hybrid car that can be charged from the socket, allows it to be used as a classic electric car over short distances. The technology is rapidly gaining popularity and has already been adopted by virtually all major manufacturers of hybrid cars. The extra energy from a regular home outlet can reduce average fuel consumption and increase mileage solely by power.




Hybrid versions are on average 20% more expensive than their traditional counterparts. However, they are virtually indistinguishable in cost, since the auxiliary electric drive equipment is relatively simple and quite reliable.



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