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Types of hybrids explained (part 2)

full-hybrid

Some while ago we started talking about the various types of hybrids, in the first article we talked about mild hybrids and today it’s time to take a gander at full hybrids.

Full hybrids

As their names might imply, full hybrids go furthern than the milder variants, featuring electric motors capable of powering the car by themselves. Granted it can take the car that very far nor very fast since electric-only operation is only capable of going up to 30k/h, whilst range is limited to no more than two kilometers. But on othe other hand they’re called hybrids for a reason.

The drivetrain of a full hybrid works in three basic states: petrol and electric propulsion combined, electric motor or motors only, or the petrol engine working on its own. It’s interesting to note that despite what many individuals seem to think, full and mild hybrids don’t actually need to be plugged into the grid because the batteries are kept charged via regenerative braking as well as siphoning off extra or excess energy during acceleration or cruising.

Your first ride in a full hybrid can be a bit unsettling if not even eerie because you don’t really hear any sounds that you’ve been used to hearing whilst in a car. There’s an electronic chirp as you press the start button, a few flashing lights and then nothing. Only after you reach a certain speed will the petrol engine kick in.

The first hybrid models, and a couple of current non-Toyota/Lexus models, feature simpler drivetrain layouts and regular automatic transmissions so when they shift from one power mode to another, it is very noticeable.

The reason behind the existence of all full hybrids is their fuel economy. There are some that are exceptionally dry – such as the 3.9L/100km Prius while others like the Mercedes-benz E300 BlueTec Hybrid are kind of hard to justify in either fuel economy or value terms.

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