Hybrid Types

Last Updated: Weds. 7/12/2006
 

Hybrid Types  Print

 

When it comes to the rapidly expanding hybrid market, gimmicks are rampant.  Automakers and the popular media are calling a variety of different engine/motor configurations "hybrids", giving you the impression they are all the same.  They don't provide a clear explanation of specific design or even a category, making the choices for consumers very confusing... as well as misleading. 

The following is an attempt to provide standard identification types based on minimum requirements of the hybrids currently available:

 


 

Not Really a Hybrid     back to top

Type I  (Low-Voltage / Low-Power)  -  a traditional system fitted with a 42-volt battery, but marketed as a "mild" hybrid. 

Strictly following this definition of hybrid: "Something of mixed origin or composition" this type doesn't even qualify, since there is only a single source of propulsion power to the wheels.  Realistically, a vehicle should not be a called hybrid unless at a minimum it shuts off the engine after stopping, has regenerative braking, and has an electric-motor that contributes propulsion power.

 

ASSIST     back to top

Type II  (High-Voltage / Low-Power)  -  a system with a small battery-pack (relative to energy stored & consumed) and a single small electric-motor that contributes propulsion power to the wheels while the vehicle is accelerating.

Passive  -  how the electrical system can be best described using a simplistic non-technical term.

Click this link for additional information...  Hybrid Type: ASSIST

 

FULL     back to top

Type III  (High-Voltage / High-Power)  -  a system with a large battery-pack (relative to energy stored & consumed), a small electric-motor, at least one large electric-motor, and an engine that combined provide a wide variety of combustion & electric propulsion abilities.

Persistent  -  how the electrical system can be best described using a simplistic non-technical term.

Click these links for additional information...
  
Hybrid Type: FULL    Hybrid Type: FULL (details)    Hybrid Type: FULL (operation)


 

Honda     back to top

InsightCivic-HybridAccord-Hybrid  are hybrids from Honda which are the hybrid type:  Assist

Only one electric-motor is used in this system.  It can be used to both provide propulsion power assistance for the engine and to recharge the battery-pack, but not at the same time.  The electric-motor is also used to startup the engine.

 

Saturn (GM)     back to top

Vue  is a hybrid from Saturn (a division of GM) which is the hybrid type:  Assist

Only one electric-motor is used in this system.  It can be used to both provide propulsion power assistance for the engine and to recharge the battery-pack, but not at the same time.  The electric-motor is also used to startup the engine.

 

Toyota / Lexus     back to top

Camry-HybridHighlander-Hybrid,  the "Original" (1998-2000), the "Classic" (2001-2003), and the "HSD" (2004-2006) model Prius  are all hybrids from Toyota which are the hybrid type:  Full

RX-400hGS-450h  are also hybrids available from Toyota, under their luxury brand Lexus.  They are also the hybrid type:  Full

At least two electric-motors are used in this system.  One motor is used to create electricity.  The other motor is used to provide propulsion power and to startup the engine.  Both can be used at the same time, preventing the need to always draw from the battery-pack; this is beneficial for moderate acceleration and climbing hills.

Has the ability to drive up to 42 MPH using only electricity without the engine in motion; this is especially beneficial in stop & slow commute driving as well as on suburb streets.

 

Ford / Mercury     back to top

Escape-HybridMariner-Hybrid  are available as hybrids from Ford which are the type:  Full

Two motors are used in this system.  One motor is used to create electricity.  The other motor is used to provide propulsion power and to startup the engine.  Both can be used at the same time, preventing the need to always draw from the battery-pack; this is beneficial for moderate acceleration and climbing hills.

Has the ability to drive up to 25 MPH using only electricity without the engine in motion; this is especially beneficial in stop & slow commute driving.


 

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