Hybrid vehicles, plug-in hybrids and fully electric vehicles continue to grow in popularity with each passing year. They provide great fuel economy and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Some drivers will always prefer the power and feel of a gas engine, but more and more people are buying into the hybrid/electric concept with each passing year as the technology keeps evolving.
The question, however, is how do hybrid engines work? What makes them more fuel efficient? Hybrid vehicles are one of our specialties at San Francisco Automotive Solutions, so we have all your answers.
The Hybrid Engine
A hybrid vehicle will have both a traditional gas-powered engine along with an electric motor that's powered by an advanced battery system. The gas engine does most of the heavy lifting as you drive, but it and the regenerative braking system work together to continually charge the electric battery. The electric motor kicks in at slower speeds, while idling and at other points when less power is needed to propel the car (such as on downhill grades).
Plug-in Hybrids vs. Fully Electric Cars
A plug-in hybrid vehicle will use these same concepts as a standard hybrid, but also has an electric port that allows you to charge a higher-capacity battery. Depending on the vehicle, you can drive a certain amount of miles completely on the electric motor and save your gasoline usage for longer trips. A fully electric vehicle like a Tesla only has an electric engine system that is charged through the electric port, but it will give you a much larger electric-only mileage range than a plug-in hybrid.
Every hybrid or electric vehicle is different depending on the make, model and production year. The newer the car, the more sophisticated its engine and battery system will be. And of course, a Tesla is going to be much more complex than a Toyota.
Why You Need a Hybrid Electric Specialist
The key thing to remember is that you want a hybrid vehicle specialist to work on your hybrid/electric vehicle when it comes to maintenance and repairs. Not all auto shops are equipped with the technology or mechanical knowledge to care for these sophisticated vehicles. The engines, battery systems and computers need special attention and specialized experience like you will get at San Francisco Automotive Solutions.
As we mentioned earlier, San Francisco Automotive Solutions is a hybrid vehicle specialist, along with European cars, luxury cars, exotics and high-performance vehicles. The more advanced and complex the vehicle, the more our team of skilled automotive technicians will love working on it.
For all your Bay Area hybrid electric auto repair and maintenance needs, call San Francisco Automotive Solutions today at (415) 957-1170 or schedule your service appointment online.