Major car companies like, Toyota and Honda, are committed to bringing the consumer the best in hybrid technology vehicles. Many Hollywood stars are driving hybrids; they have become the vehicles that represent those who care about the planet and environmental issues.
Hybrid vehicles have been around since the late 1990’s, and the market of buyers is continuously growing. Both Toyota and Honda have been able to create hybrids that serve consumers well, by being more fuel efficient, and less expensive for the average driver.
For consumers who have chosen to purchase and drive hybrid vehicles, it is wise to locate a professional mechanic who is extremely familiar with, and specializes in servicing and repairing hybrid systems. There are many mistakes that can be made, if a mechanic is not familiar with how these cars operate; their similarities and differences.
What is a hybrid car?
Hybrids are vehicles that use more than one source of energy; which means that they will contain a traditional combustion engine and fuel tank, along side a battery pack, and one or two electric motors. Though they have some similarities, hybrids are not the same as electric vehicles.
Most hybrids use gasoline, but transforms electric bits to reuse as energy; energy that is normally wasted in traditional motor vehicles.
How do hybrids work?
The motor-generator, or electric motor, functions by providing extra acceleration, by pulling electricity from the battery. Some hybrid cars have two, or even three of these motor-generators. Hybrids do not require a starter motor, that exists in traditional vehicles, because the electric motor-generators, also serve that purpose.
Hybrids contain, what is called, a stop-start feature. They automatically, shut themselves off when the car stops at traffics lights and signs, and will restart the electric motor generator, when the drivers lifts their foot off the brake pedal. This feature helps to eliminate the waste that gas engines emit when they are idle. Hybrids are also able to absorb some of the energy from the vehicle’s momentum, when it is going downhill, or coasting. This extra momentum is wasted in traditional cars, and is released as heat, in the braking system.
Some hybrids can be driven on its electrical power alone, if there is enough of that power. In “electric-only” operational mode, maximum speeds vary, and can depend on everything from the weight and size of the vehicle, to the battery’s capacity and the strength of the motor-generator. These are general operational features of most hybrids, though these vehicles can operate in various ways, according to the basic system layout.
There are “series hybrids”, which are the oldest types of hybrids, “parallel hybrids”, which are the simplest and most economical, and “series-parallel” models, which contains the elements of both types of hybrids. In a “series-parallel” hybrid, a computer monitors the battery and the current driving conditions, to determine which operating mode will be the most efficient.
Hybrids are specially and technologically designed vehicles that are best serviced and repaired by the pros in the industry. This concept is comparable to those driving luxury vehicles; a Mercedes driver would not be advised to take their car to a mechanic who does not specialize in servicing foreign luxury vehicles. It is the same for hybrid drivers; there are automotive mechanics who know the ins and outs of each type of hybrid, and will be more familiar with how to keep a hybrid vehicle running as it should.