what do hybrids run off of?
what do hybrids run off of?
Gas (or diesel fuel) and electricity.
1. Except for gasoline, they are completely self-sufficient. We don't recharge on the power grid... there is no plug even if we wanted to.
2. Hybrid batteries are an advanced Nimh similar to your notebook computer; the ~240 D-size batteries collectively weigh about 80lb and take up about 2 cu. ft. of space. These batteries are recyclable, and are not listed as a toxic item according to the EPA. The computer system intelligently handles all battery charge level, except braking regen.
3. The primary concept of the electric motor isn't to improve MPG, but to bring the performance up to a reasonable level.
4. The size of the ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) is main reason we get the great MPG. Curb weight is just under 3Klb, and has a 1.3L engine.
ICE is tricked out with VTEC, lean burn (Cuts mix ratio in half) and shuts down cylinders if they are not needed, such as while cruising.
5. Accelerating 0-60 is about 11 seconds. The electric Assist comes on proportionally to engine load. ICE and electric work collectively. Assist is off unless pulling.
6. Hondas will not drive on electric power alone. One good point of that is if the hybrid system fails I still drive the car.
7. Recharging the battery primarily comes while driving & coasting. Regen braking is over-rated and accounts for about 10%. If the battery is a little low, the drag on ICE is extremely light, and is recharged in 1-2 of miles. If the charge drops below about half the recharging drag is more, and drops the MPG by 5-7 for a couple of miles.
8. My CVT auto-transmission has no gears to shift through. It uses a metallic belt that runs over 2 variable diameter pullies. The computer determines load, engine speed, Assist and sets the ratio for optimum MPG.
9. AutoStop shuts the car off in most conditions at the stop sign. I'll drop 1-5MPG if the engine just runs. Starting is much different than regular cars. It uses the direct-coupled hybrid motor to spin the engine at ~1000RPM and is as smooth as if it had never stopped. It also has a conventional starter that is used if the pack is flat, or needs to be jumped off.
10. A few more things: The HCH looks like a regular car. They blend in with all the rest. Other MPG improving items: electronic PS eliminates engine load, it has no PS pump or alternator, specially designed alloy wheels and low rolling resistance tires, special air-directing front cowl, underside panels reduce drag, heat rejecting glass so the AC isn't used as often, etc etc etc.
HCH has the highest trim level and comes already fully loaded with many items that aren't available on other Civics’.
Honda has just released a press report that the '06 HCH is redesigned with both higher performance and higher MPG. Specs are yet to be released.
My lifetime average is about 59MPG and a few are even beating me. Most won't see those numbers, as the majority will see around 47.
Wow, sorry to bore you with such a novel!
Sorry I forgot to mention that that was primarily for the Honda's IMA Hybrid system.
Toyota's are similar, but they have some differences, most noticably is that Toyota's system can be driven totally electric for a certain distance and speed.