If you are looking to purchase a vehicle, not only do you need to decide what make to go with, but you also need to determine whether you want it to be a hybrid or not. Understanding the specifics of hybrid vehicles can help you decide if one is right for you.
Stockfish Ford provides the greater North Bay area with all their Ford needs. With a wide selection of new and used vehicles - both conventional and hybrid - our team can help you pick out the perfect car.
Kinds of Hybrid Electric Vehicles
Hybrids are vehicles that use both a fuel-powered engine and an electric motor. The engine is the same as in a conventional vehicle and runs on petrol or diesel. The electric motor is powered by a special battery pack.
The battery is made up of cells. The more cells in the battery pack, the stronger it is. There are different types of hybrid vehicles, depending on the size of the battery pack.
The way the battery and engine work to power the vehicle is also not the same across all hybrids.
There are two main groups:
Parallel – the engine and motor send power directly to the wheels
Series – only the motor sends power to the wheels
Series hybrids have the largest battery packs, which allow them to drive further and faster without the use of the fuel engine. The most common kind of series hybrid is the plug-in.
A plug-in hybrid’s battery pack receives the bulk of its charge from an external power source. Other hybrid vehicle batteries can only be recharged through regenerative braking.
Parallel hybrids are the most common style of hybrid on the market since there are three different levels:
Micro Hybrid: These hybrids have the smallest battery pack and are often not even sold under the name hybrid. Vehicles with Auto Start/Stop are micro hybrids. The start/stop function is when the battery pack turns the vehicle off when it’s at a complete stop and seamlessly turns it back on when the accelerator is pressed.
Mild Hybrid: Similar to a micro hybrid, the mild hybrid’s battery cannot power the vehicle on its own but adds a boost of power to the fuel engine.
Full Hybrid: While it’s not as powerful as a plug-in hybrid, a full hybrid can drive with only electric power.
Hybrids use regenerative braking to recharge their batteries. Plug-in hybrids use regenerative braking to supplement the external charge.
When the brake pedal of a conventional vehicle is pressed, brake pads squeeze the rotors. Friction between the pads and rotors slows the turn of the wheels. Energy is transferred from motion into heat.
With regenerative braking, a hybrid vehicle does not use brake pads. Instead, the electric motor switches into reverse and uses the opposing force to slow the vehicle. The energy released from the slowing is captured and returned to the battery pack.
Benefits of Hybrids
One of the biggest positives of buying a hybrid is that they use less fuel. Depending on the type of hybrid you purchase, it may be either slightly or much more fuel-efficient than its conventional counterpart. Either way, a hybrid uses less fuel, which means you have to stop less to refill it, and you save more money.
Another benefit is that by using less fuel, hybrid vehicles emit fewer pollutants. Car emissions are made up of things including:
Volatile Organic Compounds
These emissions are by-products of fuel combustion. The less fuel a vehicle uses, the less emissions it puts off. Hybrid vehicles are considered more eco-friendly because they contribute less to water and air pollution, which is harmful to humans and animals.
A third benefit of hybrid vehicles is that thanks to their specialized battery and braking system, they require less maintenance. Conventional batteries and brake pads need regular servicing.
The battery pack in a hybrid vehicle is meant to last for the lifetime of the car, unlike regular car batteries, which need to be replaced every four or so years. While hybrid vehicles do have brake pads for harder braking, they wear down much more slowly than a conventional car. Fewer part replacements saves you money and time.
Ford is one of the leaders in hybrid vehicles with a wide range of models available. Their lineup includes:
2020 Ford Escape SE (Auto Start/Stop)
2020 Ford Edge (Auto Start/Stop)
2020 Ford EcoSport (Auto Start/Stop)
2020 Fusion SE
2020 Fusion SEL (Plug-In)
2020 Escape Titanium
2021 Explorer Limited
Ford also offers the all-electric 2021 Mustang Mach-E.
Get in a Hybrid
The best way to decide if a hybrid is right for you is to try one out. Contact us at Stockfish Ford today to set up a hybrid test drive.