Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Features
Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Features that Define the Group
Hybrid and electric vehicles are a group of automobiles which has soared in popularity over the last decade and it is defined by one major feature – it uses an electric motor in order to power and propel the vehicles forward which may or may not be used in conjunction with other power sources. More specifically, hybrid cars use a combination of various power sources – one or more electric motors in conjunction with a regular internal combustion engine fueled by gasoline. Alternatively, full electric cars are powered using only electrical energy which is typically stored in batteries.
The Benefits of Electric Cars
Even though hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and electric vehicles (EVs) have been around for a while, it wasn't until around the year 2000 when they started holding a significant market share of the automotive industry. 2000 is also the year when the Toyota Prius came out in the U.S. While not the first hybrid by any means, the Prius quickly became the most popular and, to this day, retains the largest market share in total HEV sales. From then on, many more automakers shifted their attention towards this new, developing market and dozens of other HEV and EV automobiles have been launched since then.
The biggest feature that most drivers look for in a hybrid or electric car is mileage. Since they rely only partially or not at all on traditional fuel such as gasoline, most EVs get significantly higher fuel mileage than their internal combustion engine counterparts. Consequently, driving a hybrid or an electric vehicle also means a reduction in fuel costs since they rely on renewable electric energy. However, the original purchasing costs of such a vehicle are higher than their alternatives as production costs are also higher.
For many drivers, the feature which is most appealing to them about electric vehicles is the environmental impact. Hybrids and electric cars are considered to be much friendlier to the environment due to the fact that they consume a lot less fuel than conventional automobiles. Moreover, the batteries used for both HEVs and EVs are typically made either out of lithium ion or nickel metal hydride. Both of them are considered to be better for the environment than the alternative lead-based batteries used for most gas-powered cars due to their lower toxicity levels. Furthermore, they are also lighter (especially the lithium-ion ones), thus resulting in an overall lighter vehicle which improves fuel economy.