Hybrid cars explained

on May 05, 2022

Car buyers today are faced with choosing more affordable but less eco-friendly vehicles and greener emission-free electric vehicles that can cost a fortune. However, it doesn’t always have to be a toss-up between the two. The best of both worlds can be found in a hybrid car.

What is a hybrid car?

A hybrid car combines the old internal combustion engine (petrol or diesel) with an electric motor, which is commonly powered by a lithium battery. The battery can be recharged in a variety of ways, depending on the type of hybrid car.

Commonly, the combustion engine drives an electric generator, which in turn, recharges the electric battery. Some hybrid cars can also be plugged into a power source, while others have regenerative braking that feeds electricity to the battery.

Types of Hybrid Car

Aside from the varying battery recharging methods, hybrid cars also have different drivetrains. The type of drivetrain dictates how the combustion engine and electric motor will work together to power the vehicle. Here are the different types of Hybrid Cars:

Parallel Hybrid Cars

The most common hybrid car, the parallel hybrid, is powered by the combustion engine and electric motor, which are both linked to the car’s transmission. When either of them is turned on, the power generated will propel the vehicle. A parallel hybrid car has a transmission controller that will enable you to switch between the gasoline engine and electric motor.

The key to using this hybrid car is to learn how to best use each motor. An electric motor is great for producing power, which is good to start the car moving. It also suits the city traffic where you need to stop and go in short intervals. On the other hand, the combustion engine is best for accelerating and maintaining speed. When properly used, the combination of these two motors will result in energy efficiency.

The battery that powers the electric motor is recharged by the regenerative braking technology. This means that every time you use the brake or the hybrid car decelerates, it generates electricity to recharge the battery. Toyota Prius, Yaris, and Auris are all parallel hybrid cars.

Series Hybrid Car

The series hybrid car has the same components as the parallel hybrid car. The difference is their configurations. With the series hybrid car, the electric motor is the only one that propels the wheels. Meanwhile, the combustion engine is used to charge the battery pack, which powers the electric motor. It is not connected to the car’s transmission at all.

The controller of a series hybrid car also has a different function. It’s used as a switch to choose the power source for the electric motor (battery or generator), rather than as a switch between the gas engine and electric motor.

Plug-in hybrids

These hybrid cars also use the combustion engine and a generator to power the electric battery, just like series hybrid cars. However, they can also be plugged into an external power source using an on-board or external charger to recharge the battery. Plug-in hybrids also have larger batteries, which enable them to travel longer distances with just the electric motor. If you can’t afford an all-electric vehicle, then a plug-in hybrid is the best option for you to go green when driving.

Despite the stronger electric motor capability, you still have an option to use the combustion engine to propel this hybrid car. In short, a plug-in hybrid can be utilized both as a parallel hybrid and the series hybrid. Some of the best plug-in hybrid cars available in the market right now include Hyundai Ioniq, Mitsubishi Outlander, and BMW i3.

Advantages of Hybrid Cars

Whichever type of hybrid car you might end up driving, you will benefit from the lower petrol or diesel consumption. This will result in fewer carbon emissions, a feat you will not achieve with combustion engine vehicles.

Also, the operating cost is smaller when driving a hybrid car. If you can master the use of both the gasoline engine and electric motor, then you’ll achieve energy efficiency that will save you money.

Buying a hybrid car will also give you a larger cashback incentive from dealerships. It will give you the privilege to drive in the high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane to escape heavy traffic. And last but not least, owning a hybrid car will grant you access to special parking spaces and other perks given by many Australian companies.

Buy Your Hybrid Car with CarFinance

Hybrid Cars are a cheaper alternative to achieve some of the benefits of electric vehicles. If you want to help preserve the environment without paying a very hefty price, then driving a hybrid car is your best option.

To purchase your hybrid car, don’t forget to get a pre-approved loan from CarFinance. It will help you gain confidence while shopping at the dealership and bargaining for the price of the vehicle.

Call CarFinance today on 1300 889 669 or apply online to enjoy our competitive rates and finally get that new hybrid car on the road.