What Is a Hybrid Car?

What Is a Hybrid Car?

The first hybrid vehicle was first introduced in the United States in 1999, making it a fairly new concept in the automobile world, especially considering the first car was developed in the 1880s. That may be why you're asking: What is a hybrid car?

Our team at Val-U-Line® has the answer. We've created this guide to hybrid vehicles, so you can see what they're all about! Contact us with any questions.

Hybrid Cars: What Are They and How Do They Work?

What Is a Hybrid Car?

Hybrid is generally defined as something that is a combination of two things. A hybrid car combines at least one electric motor and a gas-powered engine. They can be powered exclusively by the electric motor, the gas engine, or both at the same time. The motor is powered by a high-voltage battery pack that is replenished through regenerative braking.

A parallel hybrid is the most common type of hybrid vehicle. The electric motor and gasoline engine are connected by a common transmission that blends the two sources. It can be automatic, manual, or a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The following brands all have an available parallel hybrid:

  • Toyota
  • Lexus
  • Ford
  • Honda
  • Nissan

What is a plug-in hybrid? They're like a parallel hybrid, but with a much larger battery pack that requires full recharging from an external power source. This larger battery pack allows for longer all-electric driving and a longer combined range when utilizing both gas and electric power.

Hybrid Car vs Electric Vehicle

The biggest difference between a hybrid car and an electric vehicle (EV) is the elimination of the traditional internal combustion engine. Electric vehicles run solely off electricity provided by a large battery pack and funneled through the electric motor.

There are select EVs that come with a small gas-powered generator-like an internal combustion engine-but it's not connected to the driveline in any way. Its only purpose is to recharge the battery when the power starts running low while you're out on the road.

If you're looking for a vehicle that cuts down on the maintenance costs of a traditional engine, an EV may be the way to go. Routine services like oil changes will be a thing of the past. The electric motor also provides smoother performance and more instant power.

What Are the Best Used Hybrid Cars?

What Is a Hybrid Car?

There are so many great choices out there if you're looking for a cheap used hybrid. How do you choose the hybrid model that is right for you? Here are a few of the best options:

  • Toyota Prius
  • Kia Optima Hybrid
  • Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid
  • Honda Civic Hybrid
  • Ford Escape Hybrid

The Toyota Prius has long led the way for hybrid cars. Select model years come with a high-tech Solar Roof that's embedded with solar panels, which power some interior electronics to conserve battery power while driving. They also come with EV, ECO, and POWER drive modes that let you decide how to harness your power.

Do you need a more versatile hybrid car? The Ford Escape combines the versatility of an SUV with the efficient, eco-friendly nature of a hybrid. Used models equipped with the hybrid powertrain net over 171 horsepower and can be outfitted with 4-wheel drive, so you can take on any trail.

Find Your Used Hybrid Car Today!

As automotive technology continues to advance, the answer to what is a hybrid car may eventually be everything. If you think the future is now, you can experience a pre-owned hybrid car at one of Val-U-Line®'s nationwide used car dealers.

Contact us today to learn more!