A Brief History of Electric Hybrid Vehicles

Lyle Ellerbee

Hybrid electric vehicles are automobiles which make use of a combination of conventional propulsion systems and rechargeable energy storage systems (RESS). The purpose for combining these two different power sources is to achieve improved fuel economy in hybrid electric vehicles compared to the conventional cars and trucks. Then, batteries are just used for support, and limited propulsion needs, without requiring any recharging due to the storage and energy renewal system.

Nowadays, hybrid electrical vehicles are produced in lines for mass usage, particularly since more and more manufacturers have joined the green line. The reasons why many car producers jump on the green bandwagon are varied. Some producers are truly interested in preserving the natural resources, while others show a form of interested caring for the environment as a means of attracting more clients. There are three main ways that allow current hybrid electric vehicles to reduce gas consume. First, they lower the amount of wasted energy during idle or low input (turning off the ICE); secondly, they collect waste energy (regenerative braking), and thirdly, they reduce the size and power of the ICE and inefficiencies generated by under-utilization.

The modern mass-produced hybrid electric vehicles are able to prolong the charges on their batteries simply through collecting the kinetic energy via the regenerative braking system. Some hybrid electrical vehicles designs depend on the use of an electric generator that is spun by the engine and allows the recharging of the battery. Many of the existing hybrid electric vehicles’ capability is to reduce idle emissions by shutting down the internal combustion engine at idle status and restarting it when necessary (this is a start-stop system). Despite the weight of the hybrid electric vehicles, we should mention that their engines are actually smaller than those of regular cars powered by gas. These engines may function at various speeds, thus bringing more efficiency.

The making of the hybrid electric vehicles started in the late 1990s and the first ones came from Honda (Honda Insight) and Toyota (Toyota Prius). Even since the beginnings of hybrid electric vehicles they have become widely available to the buyers. The future of hybrid electric vehicles is definitely positive, and this is the forecast by some automobile makers who consider hybrid electric vehicles a central segment of the automotive market of the future.

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