Understanding Hybrid Powertrains: The Future of Mobility

Alternative-energy designs are becoming more and more popular in the auto industry due to the rise in environmental awareness across the world. These designs include hybrid powertrains, a term you may have heard but may not understand what it means. Hybrids combine gasoline engines with an electric motor, but they also come with some other parts and systems that may make you rethink the way you drive.

Understanding hybrid powertrains starts with classification. According to HowStuffWorks, there are two main hybrid designs: gasoline-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles. Both types use electric power to supplement the main engine power, when you pass or accelerate. Gasoline-electric engines work by powering an electric generator with gasoline to create energy. The energy can then be stored in batteries or applied to the wheels as needed.

Plug-in hybrid vehicles, also called PHEVs, use electricity from a wall socket. This reduces the dependence of direct fossil fuels, often allowing the vehicle to be more efficient and produce fewer emissions. While gasoline-electric vehicles have more power, the PHEVs tend to be greener.

In addition to these two basic hybrids, there are other designs on the horizon. Submarines often use a nuclear-hybrid power system—something not likely to appear in personal vehicles—while some researchers have developed hydrogen-powered cars. These hybrids create electricity by combining liquid hydrogen with oxygen. The only byproduct is pure water, making this a viable option for some hybrids down the road.

Regardless of the type of hybrid you see on the road, it’s easy to see why these vehicles are becoming more and more popular. Visit us today to learn more about hybrid vehicles!

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