How do hybrid cars work?

Learn how a hybrid car's conventional engine and electric motor work together in different circumstances to give you the best possible mileage.



1. How does a hybrid car work when pulling away from a stop?

This is one of the main reasons why hybrid cars are more efficient for city driving. The electric motor powers the car, drawing on the battery for the power. Up to 15mph, the vehicle uses only the electrical motor for power.


2. How does a hybrid engine work during normal cruising?

This is when the normal petrol engine is used as it is most efficient. The engine can also power the generator while cruising, which produces electricity and stores it in the batteries for later use.


3. How do hybrid cars work during heavy acceleration?

Both the conventional engine and electric motors work together to increase power to the wheels. At the same time the petrol engine also powers the generator and the electric motor uses electricity from the battery and generator as needed.


4. How do hybrid cars work during braking and cruising?

When you brake or you take your foot off the gas, Toyota Hybrid cars use a clever system called ‘regenerative braking’. As the car no longer needs to apply power to the wheels it allows the spinning wheels to power the vehicle’s generator, which produces electricity and stores it in the battery for later use.


5. How do hybrid cars work when reaching a complete stop?

Both the conventional engine and electric motor turn off and the car switches to battery power to run everything it needs to – radio, air conditioning, lights etc.

More about hybrid cars

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