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Different Types of Hybrid Vehicles on the Market

Since the launch of the original Toyota Prius hybrid vehicle, automakers around the world have been further pressured to keep to tougher emissions and fuel economy standards. As a result, hybrid technology has become a popular power source for vehicles, with an electrical motor paired to an internal combustion engine to produce a drive train that promotes fuel economy and fuel efficiency. Read on to discover the differences between a Mild Hybrid, a regular Hybrid, and a Plug-In Hybrid vehicle.

Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV)

The most common type of hybrid car is the HEV – a combination of a gasoline engine and an electric motor. This type of car uses a battery to store energy created during braking, which is then used to help power the car when it accelerates again. Drivers can expect excellent fuel economy from an HEV, better environmental performance and reduced emissions compared to traditional gasoline cars. Depending on what sort of transmissions these HEVs utilise, some may do better in urban driving conditions, while others may do better over long haul distances.

Plug-in Hybrids (PHEVs)

The next step up from an HEV is a plug-in hybrid vehicle, or PHEV. PHEVs are similar to HEVs in that they also use a combination of petrol/diesel engines and electric motors but have larger batteries that allow them to be plugged in for recharging at home or public charging stations. With this type of car, you get all the same benefits as an HEV plus much better range on pure electric power once charged.

Typically, PHEVs possess larger battery packs than HEVs, and can be driven on electrical power alone for extended periods. They also tend to be more powerful than their HEV counterparts, as seen in the latest BMW XM, which is a PHEV, and also incidentally the most powerful car ever produced by BMW.

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Hybrid (HFC EV)

Another type of hybrid vehicle is a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle (HFC EV). These use a combination of hydrogen gas stored in compressed tanks and battery packs for energy storage, allowing them to travel long distances without refuelling in comparison to other types of hybrids or electric cars. Additionally, HFC EVs create zero emissions since their only byproduct is water vapour!

It should be noted that HFC EVs are currently one of the newer technologies on the market, and are therefore not yet readily available in most markets.


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