Hybrid vehicles (hybrids) have been available for many years and are widely used. They use a combination of a petrol or diesel engine, a battery or an onboard electric motor.
How hybrid vehicles work
- When pulling away from a stop - hybrid vehicles are powered by their electric motor, drawing on the battery for power.
- During normal cruising - only the petrol or diesel engine is used (this is when it is most efficient). At the same time, it powers the generator - producing electricity and storing it in the batteries for later use.
- During heavy acceleration - both the petrol or diesel engine and the electric motor work together to increase power to the wheels. This reduces fuel consumption considerably.
Hybrids don’t plug into an electricity supply to recharge, their only source of energy is the fuel used by the engine. The battery is charged by the combustion engine, and energy is captured when the vehicle brakes (regenerative braking).
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) are considered an electric vehicle as the batteries in a PHEV can be charged from external electricity supplies (as well as by their onboard internal combustion engine), for example Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and Audi e-tron.