What is a Hybrid car?

In Car on 22 August, 2006 at 3:00 pm

A car is considered a hybrid if it satisfy 3 conditions:

  1. Not using the main engine while idling
  2. Able to recycle the energy use for braking back into the charging of the electric motor
  3. While accelerating, the electric motor will be able to assist the main engine

The car has to satisfy all 3 conditions because only with all 3 mechanisms can the car be able to save enough petrol so as to be substantial enough to be considered as a “Green” car.  This is especially true when newer technology actually allows certain car to achieve the first condition.  This kind of car, though without any electric motor, makes use of an added Lithium-ion battery to power the car while it is idling.  This unfortunately does not translate into substantially more saving of petrol dollars.

Current hybrid cars are still making use of Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries as there are some problems when trying to make large Lithium-ion batteries.  Large Lithium-ion batteries are prone to combustion and thus are not ideal to be placed in an automotive vehicle.  If this and other problems can be solved by the industry it will herald in a new era for hybrid or even pure electric cars.  With Lithium-ion batteries, hybrid or pure electric cars will be able to get great efficiency, acceleration and range, all at the same price or even cheaper than today’s conventional cars.


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