Hybrid-Electric Cars: How They Work, Battery Technology and More


Ed. note: This is now the fifth post in the Green Basics series of posts that TreeHugger is writing to provide basic information about important ideas, materials and technologies for new greenies (or those who just need a quick refresher). Read on and stay tuned!
How do hybrid cars work?
One of the most symbolic and popular symbols of the "green" movement is the hybrid-electric car, known better as simply the hybrid car. These vehicles extend the functionality of traditional internal combustion engines by combining them with a battery-powered electric motor, which takes some of the work off the combustion engine's hands. This allows the cars similar performance to a comparable conventional car with a much smaller gasoline engine, and an overall increase in fuel efficiency. Contrary to what some people think, these hybrid cars do not need to be plugged in to charge up the batteries. They aren't just any batteries, though. Keep reading to get the scoop on hybrid car batteries, and the difference between full hybrids and mild hybrids.

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