Hybrid vehicles have been around from as far back as the dawn of the 20th century. In 1902, a certain Ferdinand Porsche built the first fully functioning hybrid car, called the "Mixte.". And yes, if you’re wondering, Ferdinand Porsche was the founder of the Porsche company. The first hybrid had a two-combustion engine with an electric motor hub designed to store energy in the battery. In 1997, the Toyota Prius was the first commercial hybrid car to be produced for the masses.
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As you may know, some makes and models of conventional cars are known for their costly maintenance. But contrary to popular belief, maintenance for a hybrid should cost no more than for conventional vehicles. In fact, hybrid-specific vehicle components have been shown to have a longer lifespan in testing than conventional ones. Morevover, most hybrids rarely require any additional maintenance, and their regenerative braking systems and reduced heat make brake pads last much longer.
According to the United States Department of Energy (DOE), hybrid vehicles can drive 40 to 70 miles on just one gallon of gasoline as compared to conventional cars, that get anywhere from 12 to 35 miles per gallon. So obviously, hybrid cars help drivers save tons of money on fuel. It’s simple math. Granted, most hybrids cost significantly more than conventional cars, but in the long run savings at the fuel pump help offset the increased cost over the span of ownership.
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It’s a common misconception that hybrid cars need a charging point to function with every day use. The whole point of the cars being a hybrid (combustion engine + electric motor) is that they can be fueled up at petrol kiosks like normal gasoline cars. Charging points are not a must, but an added benefit. The hybrid system uses a gasoline engine as its power source to charge up the hybrid battery when it is running low. Therefore allowing hybrids to travel more fuel efficiently compared to normal cars that rely solely on petrol.
Most hybrids use a parallel design in which either the gas engine or the electric motor alone can drive the wheels, or they can work in unison. Hybrids can also have a series configuration, in which only the electric motor drives the wheels, and the gas engine works mainly as a generator to provide electricity once the battery is depleted like the BMW i3.
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