Perhaps you have been curious as to exactly how a hybrid car works? Hybrid cars traditionally get better gas mileage and are considered more green and eco-friendly than gas only vehicles. Exactly how do these vehicles differ?
The most obvious, and major, difference between a hybrid engine and a traditional diesel engine is that a diesel only uses fuel to operate the engine, while a hybrid uses both fuel and electricity. Where as a diesel engine burns fuel at all speeds a traditional hybrid engine may use electricity and then switch to fuel, and back again, depending on the speed of the vehicle. This combined power maximizes the economy of energy. A diesel engine can be somewhat in-efficient, especially at low speeds.
In order to do this a hybrid engine needs not only a gasoline burning motor, like a traditional car, but also an electric motor. Each hybrid has a computer that effortlessly switches back and forth between the two motors allowing for maximum efficiency whenever possible. Some hybrids can even operate entirely on their electric engine, only using fuel when the car reaches certain speeds or when extra power is needed.
Another added advantage of the hybrid motor is that diesel portion of the motor can actually charge the battery for the electric portion of the motor. Coasting and braking will also charge the battery. This allows the vehicle to be entirely self sufficient without having to worry about plugging your vehicle into an outlet or having the battery run dangerously low when driving.
The electric motor also runs all of the traditional energy wasting components associated with cars, including air condition, the radio and the steering pump. This allows the vehicle to preserve gasoline, which in turn also aids in the fuel economy.
All of this technology allows for the much more economical fuel efficiency, allowing for 40 to 60 miles per gallon. In addition to consuming less gasoline a hybrid will also emit far less harmful pollutants and smog than a traditional diesel engine does.
Of course this added technology also means that hybrid engines are larger and have more components. In some cases they can also be more expensive to fix and more parts means more things that can break on a car.
Diesel engines are also traditionally easier to work on. Parts are cheaper and easier to locate. In many cases you may be forced to take a hybrid into a dealership to have it repaired. At some point hybrid drivers may also be forced to purchase a new battery, an expensive proposition that can cost upwards to $5,000, depending on the make and model of your vehicle.
On average vehicles with diesel engines tend to be cheaper that hybrids, though in recent years the difference in price has dropped considerably. A higher initial purchase price could be a determining factor in a consumer’s decision to purchase a car. Much of this cost is often offset by the superior fuel efficiency of hybrid cars.