Hybrid Cars

Why drive a Hybrid?

The idea is to incorporate both gasoline and electric motor under one hood in order to use them more efficiently according to the
different driving conditions. Design strategies during the last few decades have increasingly been influenced by environmental
considerations, specifically, the need to reduce the engine’s contribution to air pollution, and the need to reduce automotive fuel consumption.
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An electric car - which neither releases emissions nor consumes gasoline - is often
touted as the answer; but its weakness obstructs the path
to wide acceptance: limited range. This type of car would be too inconvenient for most people - people need cars that can make long trips.
That is how hybrid cars came into discussion. Having two types of engines under one
hood is equivalent with having both high energy and high efficiency.
Half gas, half electric, half fuel use, and half the emissions - these are the
remarkable characteristics of the brand-new hybrid-electric car.
Hybrid electric vehicles, or HEV, attempt to capitalize on the complementary characteristics of the internal combustion engine and the electric motor
in order to minimize fuel consumption and the production of emissions. In an HEV, either the gasoline engine or the electric motor can be used to provide power to the wheels directly, allowing the car to match the driving conditions to the mostsuitable source of energy, either the gasoline engine, or the electric motor,
or both. So, the HEV uses the gasoline engine for the high-energy demands of cruising and long trips. It uses the electric motor for high-power conditions of starting, accelerating, and climbing hills. And, in the meantime, the HEV halves the consumption of fuel and the production of emissions. The combustion of fuel in the engine necessarily produces emissions. The most harmful by-products of the combustion process are hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen, sulfur, and solid carbon particulates. The major causes of emissions are non-stoichiometric combustion, dissociation of nitrogen, and impurities in the fuel and air.
Greenhouse gases are the gases which are thought to contribute to the greenhouse effect - the warming of the Earth's climate due to the major buildup of carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane and other gases in the atmosphere. These gases are released by the combustion of fossil fuel, primarily by cars and other methods of transportation. The calculations for emissions in tons per year are based on 45% highway driving, 55% city driving, and 15,000 miles per year.
For more information about hybrids and fuel consumption please go to //www.consumerenergycenter.org/transportation/hybrids/index.html

Hybrid electric vehicles reduce emissions by reducing both the amount of fuel used and by reducing the amount of time that the engine burns fuel via non-stoichiometric combustion. The production of emissions is also a strong function of the operating conditions of the engine; and hybrid electric vehicles permit less variation in the operating conditions of the engine while often optimizing those conditions for the minimization of the release of emissions. The variation of the engine are minimized with the help of a system of electronic controls equipped with computer technology and mechanical controls that will “tell” the car what type of engine to operate on given the outside conditions.

How does it work?

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The following describes a typical system:
Starting the vehicle, speeds from 0 to approximately 10 mph - electric motor only (in this way, the engine is restricted from idling and low speeds, part-load conditions where combustion efficiency is very low); braking: engine is shut off and motor runs as a generator (engine is again restricted from idling, and energy is recaptured and stored that would be wasted in a vehicle without regenerative braking capacity); cruising conditions: engine only; rapid acceleration and climbing hills: engine and motor together to account for elevated power demands. In this fashion, hybrid electric vehicles have been shown to double fuel economy over a comparable traditional automobile and halve the production of emissions.

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