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The sources used in the paper give information about the way hybrid cars work. They explain what hybrid cars are and how different they are from the conventional electric and fuel driven cars. The articles relate to the question in that the information given therein helps to answer the question how do hybrid cars work.
The author of the first article titled ‘How hybrid works’ is the U.S Department of Energy. Its principle is Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. The branch invents in technologies that promote use of clean energy technologies in a bid to make the economy strong and for the protection of the environment. Moreover, help to reduce the overdependence of the country on foreign oil for provision of energy.
The branch supports hybrid cars because they help to protect the environment through the reduction of emissions to the atmosphere and use of less fuel. Furthermore, by use of electric power then demand for oil is reduced hence reducing the amount of oil imported for domestic consumption. The other article ‘Hybrids Under the Hood’ is written by the Union of Concerned Scientists that is concerned about the environment. They aim to educate consumers with technological information to help them understand how the technology can help them in protecting the environment.
How hybrid cars work
Hybrid cars refer to cars that are a cross between an electric car and a fuel car. The hybrid cars borrow features from the two types of cars and combine them to form a hybrid car with a hybrid engine (U.S Department of Energy 1). Fuel driven cars have fuel tanks and internal –combustion engines together with transmissions that work together in order to turn the wheels of cars. In order for the wheels to turn, the fuel tank sends fuel to the engine and transmission occurs. On the other hand, the electric car has an electric has a battery pack instead of a fuel tank and uses a similar process to turn the wheels as a fuel driven car.
Electricity is sent to the car’s motor and transmission occurs to propel the wheels. The hybrid cars are made with the best features from both the electric and fuel driven vehicles. They have generators, fuel tanks and batteries. The parts hybrid cars are different in that the gas engine is much smaller and developed to be efficient in produce less pollution to the environment (Union of Concerned Scientists 1).
It is also important to note that hybrid cars have generators, which neither the electric nor the fuel-driven cars have. The hybrid cars are self-reliant in that their fuel engines recharge the batteries by producing electricity power when in motion. The hybrid cars uses power from the fuel tank and electricity using a computer system that communicates with the engine to shut off if the car is travelling at less than fifteen miles per hour.
When the hybrid cars stop, for instance in traffic jams, they do not consume fuel unlike the conventional cars, which consume fuel during complete stops in traffic jams, and the cars start immediately the drivers step on the gas pedal because the electric engine responds instantly to turn the wheels forward (Union of Concerned Scientists 1). In addition, the computer communicates with the electric motor to release more electricity when travelling uphill. The small size of hybrid engines is very efficient because they cater for the actual needs of a driver unlike conventional engines.
That means that hybrid cars only burn fuel when it is needed. The small size of hybrid engines ensures that energy is conserved by not being wasted on heavy engines. The engines harness power from two types of energies maximize on the advantages of both types of fuel and electric power. The electric motor moves the cars when they are driving at slow speeds and when the driver touched the brakes lightly the cars wheels automatically become engaged to the electrical generator. The generator helps the brakes to slow down by creating an extra load and as it does it coverts, the mechanical energy of the car to electricity that recharges the batteries of the cars in what is called regenerative braking (U.S Department of Energy 1).
When the hybrid cars are travelling at high speeds the computers communicates with the fuel engines to take over and produce the driving force of the car to give speed because electric engines do not have the advantage of speed performance. The computers in hybrid cars communicate with both engines and turns on the engines when they are needed which eliminates the need to plug in the car to recharge using an electric outlet (Union of Concerned Scientists 1).
Hybrid cars combine the use of two engine types to reap maximum benefits from each for improved efficiency by overcoming the limitations of each engine type. They combine parts of fuel and electric driven cars to improve fuel economy by consuming less fuel to cover the same distance as convectional and less pollution to the environment by releasing less harmful substances. Through regenerative braking the hybrid cars are able to conserve the energy that would have otherwise been wasted when on a complete stop or slowing down by storing it until at the time when the electric motor needs it to propel the cars to motion.
The electric engines help the car by assisting the fuel engine when it is accelerating or climbing hills. It small size ensures that the cars do not waste energy on heavy engines. The hybrid cars have an automatic shutoff and start that turns of the engine when the cars stop and turn the engine on when the driver touches the accelerator. The generators in the hybrid cars help to recharge the cars while in motion thus eliminating the need for plugging the cars into electric plugs and makes the hybrid cars convenient as the users do not need to go around looking for places to recharge the batteries in case the power dies which would be very inconveniencing.
Hybrid cars are beneficial today when the prices of fuel have gone up and there is the concern of environmental pollution. The hybrid cars consume less fuel and thus save on the consumption of fossil fuels that are not renewable as they use electric power. The cars generate the electric power as they move. Moreover, the cars reduce the emissions of harmful substances into the environment because they burn less fuel and when they do, they burn it completely using their combustion engines. Their specially developed features of hybrid cars such as automatic shut and start, regenerative braking, use of electric motor assist and other features make the cars efficient and better than the traditional cars and help to protect the environment in era of global warming.
U.S Department of Energy. How Hybrid Works. 2011. Web.
Union of Concerned Scientists. Hybrids Under the Hood. 2010. Web.