Hybrid EVs are the most popular type of EV sold today. Over 6.3 million units have been sold worldwide. Hybrids offer an extended range and may run partially on battery power. HEVs have been on the market for over 10 years, a market which has been up and down. A new popular hybrid is the PHEV - Plug-In Hybrid EV.
The plug-in has a gas engine plus battery pack big enough to power the car or truck some miles before the gas engine kicks in.
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Hybrids all have gasoline engines matched to electric motors. Engine management software determines when and under what conditions the vehicle is powered by the gasoline engine, the electric motor, or both.
The battery pack of the hybrid varies size. Most all modern hybrid electric vehicles tend to have a small battery pack used to store braking energy which can be tapped to help move the car from a stop when electric motor power is at its peak. Electric power can also be used under other driving conditions.
Small battery packs means short electric power range. Most modern hybrids have very short electric ranges, a few miles, a half dozen kilometers or so. In this case, the modern hybrid is mostly a gas powered car with a small but complicated electronic system attached.
A few hybrids such as the Chevy Volt and the Toyota Prius are moving towards larger onboard battery packs which can be recharged by plugging them in, like a pure battery electric vehicle. These are called PHEVs, or plug in electric vehicles. The chart below shows hybrid battery pack sizes.
The hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) is taking the lead in electric vehicle sales. Hybrids seem to help bridge the gap between the ICE and pure battery electric vehicle (BEV). However, it should be noted that in simply bridging the gap, BEV benefits are left aside.
One interesting Hybrid is the REEV or Extended Range Electric Vehicle. The Chevy Volt is an REEV as is the Tata Megapixel.
It is assumed that if you are interested in either studying or obtaining a modern hybrid vehicle that you are also interested in the economic and environmental benefits provided by these vehicles. These benefits are concisely presented here in a comprehensive comparison of many current vehicles.
Check the Hybrid EV List for what manufacturers are offering. Check here for a list of five hybrids to avoid.