Topic: Hybrid Cars

Description: Hybrid cars are vehicles that use multiple sources of fuel to power them. They are often Diesel/Electric or Gasoline/Electric motors that power them.

Applications: Commuting to and from Work/School
Cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions
Conserving non-renewable resources
Saving money on gas

Web Resources:
  • **How Hybrid Cars Work**

    1. Battery Pack: A pack of batteries used to store energy. These batteries are rechargeable, and depending the model of car will either require you to plug the car in to refill them, or they will refill automatically through normal driving.
    2. Power Split Device: This device links the gasoline engine, electric motor, and the generator together. It allows either engine (gas or electric) to supply power to accelerate and run the car, or both can do so at the same time. Also, the gasoline engine, since it does not have to constantly supply power to move the car, can be used to supply power to charge the batteries. This device also acts as a CVT.
    3. CVT: Continuously Variable Transmission. A type of transmission that does not have set gear ratios. This means that instead of shifting to a gear and staying in that gear until necessary to shift again, these transmissions use methods that continuously modify the "gear ratio" according to the cars acceleration. A good example is to say that a normal transmission is like taking stairs one step at a time. You go up one, stop, then continue. A CVT would be more like a ramp or escalator, constantly going up or down to stay at the most efficient ratio.
    4. Inverter: A small electronic device that is used to convert DC current to AC current. Also takes power from the motor to recharge batteries.
    5. Electric Motor: A motor that uses electricity to run instead of combustion. Full electric engines cause little to no emissions, but also must be recharged and typically do not travel very fast or far between "fill ups".
    6. Combustion engine: An engine that runs by causing an exothermic reaction to create gases which causes pistons to move and fuels the motor. Combustion engines are known for their efficiency at constant speeds, such as interstate driving, but lose this efficiency with constant deceleration. They also cause harmful emissions as by products of the reaction.

Citations/ References:
BBC News


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The key components of a hybrid car along with the description of how the power is distributed.
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Current Popular Hybrid Cars:
  1. The Toyota Prius

2. The Honda Civic Hybrid

3. General Motors (GM) Hybrid Cars
Malibu Hybrid
Saturn Vue Hybrid
Chevy Tahoe
GMC Yukon
Saturn Aura

Obsticals to Hybrid cars
- hybrids are typically more expensive
- the computers that control them have malfunctions from time to time
- more body shop work, more expenses
- regenerative braking