As gas prices continue to rise throughout Canada, more and more consumers are turning towards hybrid vehicles to reduce their monthly gasoline budget. While we all recognize that hybrid technology means more fuel efficient, many are unaware as to how hybrid technology actually works. This overview highlights the difference between a gas and hybrid vehicle — and how they stay so efficient.
A conventional gasoline-powered car uses an internal combustion engine to help you go — and so does a hybrid vehicle. In a hybrid mode, the combustion engine works exactly like it does in a gas mode, injecting fuel into the combustion chamber where it’s combined with air and ignited by the spark plug, creating power. The big difference is that a hybrid vehicle will have an electric motor and a battery in addition to this engine. This allows the vehicle to use a combination of electric and gas power while you’re driving, saving you on gas compared to a vehicle that is solely powered by gas.
Do hybrids need to be plugged in to charge?
One of the biggest questions around hybrid vehicles is how their batteries stay charged. This depends on the type of hybrid you have. For a plug-in electric hybrid vehicle (PHEV), you do have to plug it in as its name implies. If you get a hybrid electric vehicle, though, you won’t have to plug it in. That’s because hybrid technology uses a process called regenerative braking, which captures energy created from braking to recharge the vehicle’s electric battery.
This technology works especially well in stop-and-go traffic, which is why hybrid vehicles are an appealing option for commuting or your morning school drop off. Braking more often will create more energy, adding an extra charge to your battery. The slow speed of stop-and-go traffic also means that you will be using less fuel, reducing your emissions and decreasing the amount of time you have to stop at the gas pump.
Stop by Hilltop Toyota to browse our current inventory of hybrid models.