There are two types of systems in the marketplace:
Parallel Hybrid System – The vehicle starts with the electric generator and uses the gas motor to assist on acceleration, help to maintain speed and recharge the batteries when needed.
Series Hybrid System – The vehicle starts with the gas motor which mantains speed and recharges the batteries and has the electric motor to assist on acceleration.
Both system have the generators recapturing energy and putting it back into the batteries when the vehicle is in motion.
The interesting thing about these two different system is how much difference there is in the fuel economy for city driving.
The Parallel Hybrid System, which is the choice of Toyota and Ford, offers the greatest improvement in city fuel economy, between 50% to 100%. (depending on comparison of the Prius, Lexus 400h, Highlander Hybrid and Ford Escape)
The Series Hybrid System, which is the choice of Honda, G.M. and other auto makers offers the least amont of improvement as for city fuel economy, between 15% to 50%.(depending on the comparison of Honda Civic, Honda Accord, GM Silverado & Sierra)
So if you want the best fuel economy in city driving look for the Parallel Hybrid System, for all hybrids are not created equally.
Andrew Grant is the world’s first hybrid taxi driver. He introduced his Prius taxi to the not-so-mean streets of Vancouver in 2000, and logged 200,000 miles in just 25 months. Andrew’s Prius was snatched by Toyota. The automaker wanted a chance to study the durability of the hybrid batteries and other components, which held up amazingly well. See this video for details. He’s now driving his third Prius. Andrew has taken a break from taxi-driving, and now works as a professional coach helping his clients achieve personal excellence in various fields of endeavor.