Cars with a hybrid engine slowly but surely continue to win positions in the global automotive market. Quite objective factors contribute to the growth in popularity and production volumes of such models - steadily rising prices for diesel fuel and gasoline, the introduction of increasingly stringent requirements for efficiency indicators and new environmental standards for engines.
Hybrid car: what is it?
"Hybrid" translated from Latin - an object obtained by combining elements of heterogeneous origin. In the world of automotive technology, this concept includes a combination of two types of powertrains. We are talking about an internal combustion engine (ICE) and an electric motor (an alternative option is a motor running on compressed air). At the same time, modern automakers are prioritizing intelligent energy management.
There are two types of power plants for automotive hybrids - full (full hybrids) and lightweight (mild hybrids). The first option involves equipping the car with a powerful electric motor, effectively paired with an internal combustion engine and capable of independently ensuring the movement of the car at low speed. ATthe light version of the electric motor is given only an auxiliary role.
A short digression into history
Toyota's first mass-produced hybrid cars (Toyota Prius liftback) rolled off the assembly line almost two decades ago, in 1997. Two years later, Honda introduced the Insight model to the market, and after a while European and American auto giants - Ford, Audi, Volvo, BMW - joined the Japanese manufacturers. By 2014, the total fleet of hybrids sold had crossed the 7 million mark.
However, one should not think that the internal combustion engine and the electric motor were paired only at the end of the 20th century. The Lohner-Porshe Semper Vivus, a car created by the legendary Austrian designer Ferdinand Porsche back in 1900, became the first-born among auto-hybrids in our current understanding.
Schemes of hybrid power plants
For cars in which a parallel circuit is implemented, the internal ignition engine is the driving one. A powerful electric motor plays an auxiliary role, turning on during acceleration or braking and storing regenerative energy. The consistency of the operation of the internal combustion engine and the electric motor is ensured by the computer control system.
The simplest scheme of a hybrid car. Its principle of operation is based on the transfer of torque from the internal combustion engine to a generator that generates electricity and chargesbattery. The movement of the machine is due to electric traction.
A variant of simultaneous implementation of serial and parallel circuits. Starting off and moving at low speeds, the car uses electric traction, and the internal combustion engine ensures the operation of the generator. Movement at high speed occurs due to the transfer of torque from the internal combustion engine to the drive wheels. In the presence of increased loads, the battery takes over the supply of the electric motor with additional power. The interaction of the electric motor and internal combustion engine is achieved through a planetary gear.
Hybrid vehicle combines the advantages of an electric vehicle and an internal combustion engine vehicle. The advantages of an electric motor are outstanding torque characteristics, and an internal combustion engine - liquid fuel and a convenient energy carrier. The first is effective in the mode of frequent stops and starts, typical for city driving, the second - at constant speeds. The indisputable advantages of such a tandem:
- economy (with equal mileage, hybrid fuel consumption is 20-25% less than the classic model);
- large power reserve;
- environmental friendliness (reduced amount of harmful emissions into the atmosphere due to rational fuel consumption);
- minimum brake pad wear (due to regenerative braking);
- improved driving performance;
- the ability to save and reuse energy (accumulators are batteries andspecial capacitors).
- High cost due to the complexity of the power plant design.
- Expensive hybrid car repairs and battery disposal issues.
- Relatively heavy weight.
- Battery susceptibility to self-discharge.
What do car owners say?
Car enthusiasts all over the world are actively sharing their experience of conquering roads and impressions about cars, analyzing the pros and cons of models they know well. Hybrid cars have not gone unnoticed either. The reviews of their owners eloquently testify to the reliability of such machines and the ability to significantly save part of the family budget going to purchase fuel. The last advantage is very important for lovers of long trips. The downsides include high maintenance costs for hybrids and worse cornering stability than classic cars.
Top Best Models
Toyota Prius ("Toyota Prius")
Pioneer of the hybrid family, powered by two electric motors (42 kW and 60 kW) coupled with a 1.8 liter internal combustion engine (98 hp). The maximum speed is 180 km/h. With its affordable price and exceptional fuel economy performance, the Toyota Prius has been a top-selling competitor in the world for many years.segment.
Toyota Camry Hybrid ("Toyota Camry")
Hybrid vehicle with significant economy, attractive design, comfort and high technology. Another advantage that distinguishes the Toyota Camry from its hybrid brothers is its fast acceleration (in 7.4 seconds, this model can accelerate to 100 km/h).
Chevrolet Volt ("Chevrolet Volt")
Practical four-seater hatchback with excellent driving characteristics. Rechargeable hybrid (plug-in hybrid vehicle). Equipped with a gasoline engine (volume 1.4 liters, power 84 hp), a lithium-ion battery pack with a significant service life, and an electric motor that drives the car. Mileage on electric traction in the urban cycle is about 54-60 km.
Volvo V60 Plug-in ("Volvo V60 Plug-in")
The first among auto-hybrids model with a turbodiesel engine (volume 2.4 liters, power 215 hp, average diesel fuel consumption per 100 km is 1.9 liters). The capabilities of the electric motor of this diesel station wagon allow you to travel 50 km on electric traction.
Honda Civic Hybrid ("Honda Civic")
The developers of the car have relied on such important characteristics for the consumer as comfort, fuel economy and practicality. The main components of the popularity of the Honda Civic Hybrid are compactness,strikingly combined with the capacity of a hybrid due to special design solutions, cost-effectiveness and attractive design.
Prospects, or a Short Address to a Skeptic
Hybrid technologies have their supporters and opponents. Some are convinced of their relevance and effectiveness, while others do not get tired of pointing out shortcomings. If you already own a classic car with a diesel or petrol engine, and you are satisfied with its design, low fuel consumption, technical and driving characteristics, then you may not be in a hurry to purchase a hybrid. Wait for manufacturers to bring better versions to market.
Just don't drag out the waiting process too much, so you don't have to regret the lost time and wonder why you put off the purchase for so long. According to experts, a hybrid car in the coming years will become quite commonplace on the streets of megacities and small towns. At the same time, a significant expansion of the existing line of models is predicted. Hybrids will take their rightful place in every segment of the automotive range - from crossovers and supercars to minivan workers.