What Is A Full Hybrid Vehicle?

As the public view against fossil fuels becomes more and more pronounced, there will be increasing thrust on new technological paradigms being introduced in the way our vehicles utilise fuel and energy. Hybrid vehicles are the next generation of vehicles, predicted to become the norm in future, with many hoping that they will solve our problems. What are these hybrid vehicles?
What is a Full Hybrid Vehicle?
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Full Hybrid Vehicle

Full Hybrid Vehicle is a vehicle that can run on a usual internal combustion engine (like any usual motor vehicle) or only on electric batteries, or both, depending on the requirements of traffic and speed.

In this way, it is able to make the most of engine and the battery, even being able to charge the battery when the brakes are used, use the battery alone in slow traffic, and the engine alone or along with the battery on the highway, thereby maximising fuel efficiency without compromising speed or any other facet of a conventional vehicle.

Toyota Prius, Mercury Mariner

and Ford Escape are examples of full hybrid vehicles.

Hybrid Vehicles : Concept, Features & Advantages

Hybrid vehicles refer to those which can be propelled by more than one power source. In a way, the electric bicycles and mopeds which can use electricity or engine as well as muscle power are also hybrid vehicles. Apart from cars and heavy transport vehicles, hybrid technology is also being used in case of rail transport.

The greatest advantage of hybrid vehicle is that it provides an option of using a fuel other than gasoline for moving the vehicle, thereby reducing emissions and cutting fuel costs. As gasoline prices soar upwards, hybrid cars are gradually being looked upon as one of the options that will help save precious oil for the world, by improving fuel efficiency as well as allowing use of alternative fuels like electricity that can be sourced from nuclear, hydro-electric or other renewable sources.

A hybrid vehicle has typically more than one source of power which may be added together in parallel or in series. Parallel designs are more common. The usual sources of power are internal combustion engine using gas, and electric battery.

Types of Hybrid Vehicles

Hybrid vehicles can be broadly classified in to four varieties.

(i)   Mild Hybrid - In addition to conventional engine, these also have electric battery which is used to assist in putting on the engine, as well as keep the accessories running when the engine is turned off. An example is Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid.

(Ii) Power Boost Hybrid - In addition to the role of battery in a mild hybrid, in this type, the battery is also used to add power to that produced by the engine. An example is the Mazda Demio available in Japan.

(Iii) Full Hybrid - They provide the maximum options among all hybrids, as the vehicle can be run on either engine or battery or both depending on need. Toyota Prius, Ford Escape, and Mercury Mariner Hybrids are examples of this.

(Iv) Plug-In Hybrids - They are full hybrid vehicles whose batteries can be charged by plugging to a domestic source,

unlike full hybrids that are charged by engine only. They provide the option of running the vehicle largely on electricity with additional option of using engine power wherever needed.

Features of a Full Hybrid Vehicle

Full hybrid vehicles are marked by certain characteristics that help make them efficient or provide them their unique identity.

- Regenerative Braking - During application of breaks, the energy that would have otherwise been lost is reclaimed for charging the batteries for later use, thereby improving fuel efficiency.

- Computerised Alteration Between Engine & Battery - At the traffic light, the engine is automatically switched off to save fuel, while on a highway engine is used as the main source of power. When the accelerator is applied, the electric motor provides low-end torque, revving up the acceleration power.

- eCVT Transmission - The 'electronic continuously variable transmission' (eCVT) blends the low-end torque of the electric motor and the gasoline engine's increased torque at high rpms for seamless acceleration from static position to cruising speed.

Advantages of Full Hybrid Vehicle

The primary advantage of a full hybrid vehicle is its better fuel efficiency. Along with apporpriate aerodynamic modifications and other minor alterations, they can achieve upto 80% more fuel economy. In addition, by keeping the engine in high congested traffic, they tend to reduce the engine wear and tear.

Future of Full Hybrid Vehicles

The advantage of greater fuel efficiency of full hybrid vehicles is still not enough to compensate the cost differences in all cases. However, as the oil prices rise further, as fuel efficiency of these vehicles improve further, and as technological advances add up, they are bound to become a highly tempting alternative worth considering.

Newer and additional features like 'plug-in hybrids', dual and flex fuel engines, and additions for solar recharging will further improve the efficiency of these vehicles in future. Taking the possibilities of improvements that are likely in future, full hybrid vehicles appear to be an exciting prospect for dealing with depleting oil reserves and rising gas prices.
 



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