What do you get when you combine an electric motor with a traditional internal combustion engine? The Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV), that’s what! The concept of HEVs has been around since the early days of electricity, but it wasn’t until the late 20th century that the technology started to make sense economically and environmentally.

An HEV can be fueled by gasoline and electricity, giving it higher efficiency, better emissions, and lower operating costs than conventional gas-powered vehicles. It’s also more energy efficient than electric cars in terms of electricity used per mile.

The Evolution of the Car

If you are looking for more fuel-efficient cars, hybrid electric vehicles might be worth a look. The evolution of cars has been fascinating to watch over the years.

Diesel engines first replaced gasoline engines; then the diesel engine was replaced by gas-electric hybrids, and now those are being replaced by hybrid electric vehicles.

An Introduction to The Hybrid Engine

A hybrid engine typically uses an electric motor, a battery pack and an internal combustion engine. When driving conditions are good, the car will run on electricity from the battery, which is more efficient than using gasoline to turn a drivetrain.

The rechargeable battery pack can either be charged by plugging it in or by recapturing energy that would otherwise be wasted as heat in brakes or by air moving across the vehicle’s radiator.

How it Works

A hybrid electric vehicle, also called a hybrid car, hybrid vehicle, or HEV has two significant components. A gasoline engine powers the main drive train while an electric motor or motors drive all other auxiliary systems such as air conditioning and power steering.

When you are at a stoplight in your HEV, only the electric motor is engaged–if you stomp on the gas pedal to get going from a stop light, that’s when the gasoline engine kicks in.

Advantages over Full EVs

A critical difference between a hybrid and a fully electric vehicle is how often you need to recharge the car.

The most notable advantage of hybrid cars over full EVs is in range. For example, a battery-powered car needs to be recharged every 300-500 miles, whereas a gas-powered vehicle can go 500 miles on a gas tank.

Pros & Cons

Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) are just what they sound like, cars with a combination of a gasoline engine, an electric motor, and some other power source to reduce emissions. The three significant HEVs currently on the market are full hybrids, mild hybrids, and plug-in hybrids. Each type has its benefits and drawbacks.

The gasoline engine and electric motor work together in full hybrids to provide power to move the car.


A hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) combines two power sources to get you from point A to point B: an internal combustion engine and an electric motor. First, the internal combustion engine powers the vehicle up to about 25 miles per hour, then the electric motor takes over, producing electricity from onboard batteries (or, if the vehicle runs on hydrogen, from onboard fuel cells). When this energy runs out, the gas engine kicks in and charges the batteries again until you need it.

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