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Hybrid System


Hybrid-electric vehicles combine the benefits of gasoline engines and electric motors to provide improved fuel economy. The engine provides most of the vehicle's power, and the electric motor provides additional power when needed, such as for accelerating and passing. This allows a smaller, more-efficient engine to be used. The electric power for the motor is generated from regenerative braking and from the gasoline engine, so hybrids don't have to be "plugged in" to an electrical outlet to recharge.

 

The gasoline engine in a hybrid is much like those in conventional vehicles, except that it is usually much smaller and more efficient.

 

The battery stores energy generated from the gasoline engine, or during regenerative braking, from the electric motor. Since the battery helps power the vehicles, it is larger and holds much more energy than batteries used to start conventional vehicles.

 

The electric motor assists the gasoline engine when additional power is needed. It also acts as a generator, converting energy from the engine or from regenerative braking into electricity and stores it in the battery. It also starts the gasoline engine instantly when needed.

 

 

 

Staring

When the vehicle is started, the gasoline engine "warms up." If necessary, the electric motor acts as a generator, converting energy from the engine into electricity and storing it in the battery.

 

Cruising

The gasoline engine powers the vehicle at cruising speeds and, if needed, provides power to the battery for later use.

During heavy accelerating or when additional power is needed, the gasoline engine and electric motor are both used to propel the vehicle.

Additional power from the battery is used to power the electric motor as needed.

 

Braking

Regenerative braking converts otherwise wasted energy from braking into electricity and stores it in the battery. In regenerative braking, the electric motor is reversed so that, instead of using electricity to turn the wheels, the rotating wheels turn the motor and create electricity. Using energy from the wheels to turn the motor slows the vehicle down.

 

If additional stopping power is needed, conventional friction brakes (e.g., disc brakes) are also applied automatically.

 

Stopped

When the vehicle is stopped, such as at a red light, the gasoline engine and electric motor shut off automatically so that energy is not wasted in idling. The battery continues to power auxiliary systems, such as the air conditioning and dashboard displays

 

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