Types of Hybrid Cars


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Hybrid Electric Vehicles are chiefly classified according to how the electric power is created and utilized. Thus:

Mild hybrid cars rely primarily on gas engine power for propulsion. Electric power is secondary and is charged by technology such as regenerative braking.

Full hybrid cars rely primarily on electric power for propulsion, although it depends on the secondary gas engine for power and added acceleration. They’re sometimes called “two-mode” hybrids.

Some notable 2008 models of full hybrid electric vehicles include:

Lexus LS Hybrid
GS Hybrid
RX Hybrid
Toyota Prius
Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid
GMC Yukon Hybrid
Saturn VUE and AURA Green Line Hybrids

They feature:

Electronically-controlled Continuously Variable Transmission (ECVT). This technology allows for the computer or the driver to manage the transition between fuels (gasoline and electric power).

Regenerative braking systems. These systems recharge the NiMH battery whenever the car slows down (whether by brakes or coasting) by running the electric motor backwards, allowing it to capture and store that energy.

Plug-In Hybrids (PHEVs) are separated from the above by their ability to recharge the battery via an electrical outlet. Currently there are no passenger cars available for purchase that were built as PHEVs, but a number of manufacturers, including GM, Toyota and Ford, have announced plans to produce models of these vehicles. Interestingly, it is possible to find a used PHEV, in the form of a converted Toyota Prius.

Additionally, A123Systems is developing a Battery Range Extender Module utilizing their nanophosphate™ technology that can convert current-model HEVs into PHEVs. This battery has been adopted by General Motors for use in the Chevrolet Volt , a concept car first introduced at the start of 2007.

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