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Published on October 22nd, 2007 | by Stephanie Evans


Hybrid Cars Defined

A hybrid system derives power from two or more sources of energy.  A hybrid car then achieves propulsion from two different fuel sources—an internal combustion engine that runs on petroleum-based fuel and an electric battery that powers an electric motor.

Unlike electric cars, a hybrid’s battery system does not require an outlet for charging the battery.  Instead, most hybrid vehicles recharge their batteries through regenerative braking, a process that causes a reduction in the speed of the vehicle by converting some of its kinetic energy into electrical energy that is then stored in the battery for future use.  Others recharge the battery through a generator that is connected to the combustion engine.

Hybrid cars are becoming commonplace on U.S. roads as people have made strides towards developing a sustainable lifestyle.  Hybrid cars are a big part of this green way of living because they use less gasoline—since gasoline is a fossil fuel, it is not considered a renewable source of energy. 

Another aspects of the hybrid car that meshes well with the green lifestyle is that since less gasoline is burned, there is less harmful exhaust.  This reduces the amount of harmful greenhouse gases that are emitted from the car.  Since the hybrid’s electric motor used to start the car continues to power it until about 35 miles per hour, most city and residential driving is done without the combustion engine.  Not only does this keep exhaust out of the more densely populated areas, but it reduces noise pollution as well.

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