What is a Hybrid Car?

2020 Kia Optima SX

You’ve heard the word “hybrid,” and maybe even thought, “wow, that rolls off the tongue.” But do you know what a hybrid is? By definition, the word hybrid in a general sense simply means “anything derived from heterogeneous sources, or composed of elements of different or incongruous kinds.”  When referring specifically to vehicles, “hybrid” generally means a vehicle that makes use of two energy sources. Generally, hybrids are powered by a gasoline combustion engine and electric motor. Now that you’ve got the basics down, let’s dive deeper to learn more! Don’t hesitate to contact us anytime with questions.

 

 

Types of Hybrid Cars

There are different types of hybrids, and they each have different benefits. The vast majority utilize gas power and electric power. But not all hybrid systems work in the same way. Namely, some vehicles have an electric motor working alongside a gasoline engine at all times. Others use mainly gas motors with a supplementing gas generator. Still others offer a certain amount of pure “EV” range that, when depleted, reverts to some form of hybrid power delivery. Learn more below!

Parallel Hybrid

A parallel hybrid is the most common hybrid vehicle you’ll find on Valencia or Valencia streets. If your vehicle is a parallel hybrid, it means that the electric motor and gasoline engine are connected to the same automatic, manual, or CVT transmission. Parallel hybrids blend their two power sources together to propel the vehicle forward. Usually, both work at the same time. 

Series Hybrid

Series hybrid vehicles also have one or (usually more) electric motors alongside a gasoline engine. The difference is the electric motors are directly paired with the transmission and make up the sole power source of the vehicle. The gasoline engine in a series hybrid acts only as a generator for the electric motors, and its only job is to provide power to keep the electric motors going. Accordingly, series hybrids use much less gas than an average internal combustion vehicle.

Plug-In Hybrid

A plug-in hybrid is similar to a parallel hybrid in that both the electric motor and gas engine are connected to the transmission. But plug-in hybrids offer extra battery packs that let you drive the vehicle on electric power alone for an extend period of time vs. other types of hybrids. If you’re regularly driving short distances, you can drive on pure electric power, come home, and plug in a hybrid vehicle, foreseeably never using gasoline! Of course, if you do ever run out of range, the gas engine kicks in, and you start to drive as though you were driving a parallel hybrid.

 

Kia of Valencia Has Your Next Hybrid In-Stock!

Now that you know all about the hybrid car definition and meaning, we invite you to find the perfect new hybrid vehicle for you near San Fernando and Sylmar here at Kia of Valencia! Whether you decide on an Optima plug-in hybrid sedan or a Niro hybrid crossover, we’ve got you covered! 

 

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