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Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) and Electric Vehicles (EV)

 

Have you been shocked by the high price of gasoline lately?  As your gas pump clicked past $20 $30 $40 and onward, maybe you thought about getting a hybrid automobile that gets better mileage.  Most every manufacturer has now announced plans for develop their own version in the coming years.

Toyota has the new Camry Hybrid.. others are developing the SUV's.  GM is working with DaimlerChrysler, to build a new hydrogen powered hybrid system for cars and trucks.  It is still to be determined who will have the best SUV. The world is turning renewable.

Perhaps the most promising near-term alternative to fuel cell driven vehicles is Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) technology. HEV technology combines the best characteristics of fuel-driven engines, electric motor drives, and energy storage components. It is designed with a combustion engine that functions as the primary power source, and an electric power storage system that functions as the secondary power source. The presence of the secondary power source allows designers to size the combustion engine for cruising power requirements. The secondary source handles peak power demands for acceleration. In addition, the secondary source is used for capturing regenerative braking energy and applying that energy for further acceleration or for the basic energy needs of supplementary electrical systems. Through this basic design structure, HEVs promise to offer low maintenance, clean operation, and high fuel economy.

 

  • Hybrid cars are good for the environment. They can reduce smog by 90 percent and they use far less gasoline than conventional cars.
  • Hybrid cars are economical. They can get up to 55 to 60 mpg in city driving, while a typical SUV might travel 15-20 miles per gallon, or use three times as much gas for the same distance!
  • Hybrids are better than all-electric cars because hybrid car batteries recharge as you drive so there is no need to plug in. Also, most electric cars cannot go faster than 50-60 mph, while hybrids can.

How does a hybrid electric vehicle work?

THE HYBRID'S ELECTRIC MOTOR
The electric motor handles normal stop-and-go travel and initial highway acceleration. The electric motor also assists the gas or diesel engine to reduce fuel consumption and emissions. For example, it is the electric motor that drives energy-wasting accessories like the power steering pump and air conditioner.

THE HYBRID'S GASOLINE MOTOR
The gasoline- or diesel-powered internal combustion engine kicks in whenever the vehicle gets to higher speeds. Hybrids have a sophisticated computer control system that decides when to switch from one power source to the other.

The gas or diesel engine also can generate power for the electric motor. At highway speeds, the gasoline engine recharges the electric motor's battery.

THE HYBRID'S SUPERCAPACITOR BATTERY
The Hybrid's battery feeds power to the electric motor. The battery itself is recharged during the times that the vehicle is coasting and braking. (Therefore, Hybrids never need to be plugged into an outside charging device.) During coasting and braking, the electric motor switches to "generate" instead of "consume" electricity. Whenever the brake is released, the engine restarts instantaneously. This process of switching power between the two types of engines saves gas and avoids pollution.

Just like the battery under the hood of your current vehicle, a Hybrid vehicle's electric battery pack may eventually wear out and need to be replaced. However, auto manufacturers are stating that the Hybrid's battery is designed to last the lifetime of the vehicle - somewhere between 150,000 and 200,000 miles. It is simply too early to tell.

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