What are the advantages of a hybrid car?
The term “hybrid” is still very much a buzz word in the automotive world. We will tell you all about this technology including what it means and a bit of its history. What are the advantages of a hybrid car? We’ll answer that too!
What is a hybrid car?
Quite simply, a hybrid car is any car that uses two different powertrains. Interestingly, the powertrains don’t have to have a connection directly to the wheels.
In some setups, only the electric drivetrain has a connection and the gas or even diesel powertrain simply generates electricity. In this setup, manufacturers commonly refer to the gas engine as a range extender.
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A traditional hybrid is advantageous because a gas engine can provide extra power especially in highway situations, and an electric drivetrain is extremely efficient in the city. Combining both gives you the best of both worlds and leads to improved efficiency over a gas engine alone even without ever plugging it in.
What was the first hybrid?
Believe it or not, the first hybrid vehicle was built in 1900 by a very well-known name. It was called the Lohner-Porsche Mixed Hybrid and it had two electric motors in each of its front wheels and a gas engine acting as a range extender. Though it was exceedingly expensive, it still sold 300 units before it ceased production in 1905. Many still consider the Toyota Prius to be the first successful mass-market hybrid.
How much more efficient is a hybrid?
Let’s compare some non-hybrid cars efficiency numbers to that of their hybrid variants. It should be noted though, that a hybrid-only car, like the Prius, will typically perform even better as it was designed with its hybrid drivetrain in mind from the start.
|Model||Gas Efficiency||Hybrid Efficiency|
|2019 Nissan Rogue||31-City/38-Highway||33-City/35-Highway|
|2020 Toyota Corolla||31-City/38-Highway||53-City/52-Highway|
|2019 Kia Optima||27-City/37-Highway||39-City/45-Highway|
|2019 Lexus NX||22-City/28-Highway||33-City/30-Highway|
Are hybrids the future?
This is a difficult question. Hybrids are certainly helping us reduce our carbon footprint, and save money at the pumps, but they are really just a half step toward a greener solution to the automotive problem. We highly doubt that all cars will become hybrids ever. More likely, electric drivetrains will take over entirely. In fact, we are already seeing this mandated by local and even national governments the world over. How effective these policies will actually be, only time will tell. For now, hybrids are around to stay.