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

The Toyota Prius is the best-selling hybrid in the US
Which hybrid cars can you buy?
There are currently eight hybrid cars available: Toyota Prius, Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Honda Civic, Lexus GS 450h, Lexus LS 600h L, Saturn Aura Green Line and Nissan Altima; the Honda Insight has been retired, but many are still on the road. Additionally, there are five hybrid SUVs and minivans available: Toyota Highlander, Lexus RX 400h, Ford Escape, Mercury Mariner and Saturn Vue Green Line. A handful of other hybrid cars, SUVs, minivans and pick-up trucks are expected to go into production and be available in the next two or three years.

Here's an illustration of the basic operation of a hybrid car

Increasingly, though, the future of hybrids looks to be in the "series hybrid" or "plug-in hybrid electric vehicles" (PHEV); keep reading for details on when the future might arrive.

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