Comparing Series And Parallel Hybrids

Hybrid cars are a relatively new addition to the automotive industry, and offer an alternative to traditional gasoline powered cars. Hybrid cars make use of both an electric motor and a normal gasoline powered engine to power the vehicle. The two most common types of hybrid cars are series and parallel hybrids, both of which operate in different manners and provide different benefits over each other. Understanding the differences between these two types of hybrid cars can help you decide which one best suits your lifestyle.

Series Hybrid

Series hybrids are the least common type of hybrid vehicle, as they are the most expensive variant available. Series hybrids will make use of electric motors to power the vehicle for most trips, and use the gasoline engine to recharge the batteries when it gets low. This means for a longer trip in which the car is on for an extended period of time, the car will be powered purely by gasoline for the period needed to recharge the electric engine.

The main benefit of a series hybrid is the extensive range, which tends to be even longer than other types of hybrids since the gasoline engine is rarely used, but it is also important to note that since you can charge your hybrid at home, series hybrids can function just like electric cars for short trips. However, series hybrids are not ideal for many people due to their high initial price, which can be attributed to the price of the large batteries used.

Parallel Hybrid

The most common type of hybrid car, and also the least expensive, parallel hybrids refer to hybrids that have both their electric motor and their gasoline engine attached to the transmission, allowing both to power the car at the same time. Parallel hybrids also have the ability to turn on and off the engine that is not in use.

This means that at low speeds or while idling, the electric motor takes over, reducing emissions. At high speeds, when more power is needed, the gasoline engine will be utilized. At even higher speeds, both the electric motor and the gasoline engine can be used to power the car at the same time. Parallel hybrids are a good option for those operating under a budget, as they provide greater fuel efficiency than standard gasoline vehicles and an extended range, for a comparable price, as the batteries are not as powerful as the ones used in series hybrids.

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