Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Hybrid Car

A hybrid vehicle is a vehicle that uses two or more distinct power sources to move the vehicle. The term most commonly refers to hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), which combine an internal combustion engine and one or more electric motors.

Power sources include:
• On-board or out-board rechargeable energy storage system (RESS)
• Gasoline or Diesel fuel
• Hydrogen
• Compressed air
• Human powered e.g. pedaling or rowing
• Wind
• Compressed or liquefied natural gas
• Solar
• Coal, wood or other solid combustibles

Fuel consumption and emissions reductions

The hybrid vehicle typically achieves greater fuel economy and lower emissions than conventional internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs), resulting in fewer emissions being generated. These savings are primarily achieved by three elements of a typical hybrid design:

1. relying on both the gasoline (or diesel engine) and the electric motors for peak power needs resulting in a smaller gasoline or diesel engine sized more for average usage rather than peak power usage
2. having significant battery storage capacity to store and reuse recaptured energy, especially in stop-and-go traffic.
3. recapturing significant amounts of energy normally wasted during braking etc. (regenerative braking) This is a mechanism that reduces vehicle speed by converting some of its kinetic energy into another useful form of energy, dependent upon the power rating of the motor/generator
4. shutting down the gasoline or diesel engine during traffic stops or while coasting or other idle periods;
5. improving aerodynamics ; (part of the reason that SUVs get such bad gas mileage is the drag on the car. A box shaped car or truck has to exert more force to move through the air causing more stress on the engine making it work harder). Improving the shape and aerodynamics of a car is a good way to help better the gas mileage and also improve handling at the same time.