Hybrid can be defined as a device, instrument or anything that has the properties of two or more different things. So the hybrid vehicles can be defined as a vehicle having properties of two or more different vehicles. The most common term used for these vehicles is the Hybrid Electric Vehicle or HEV. These vehicles have an internal combustion engine and have one or more electric motors.
Effects on environment
The hybrid vehicles are environment friendly as compared to other fuel emission vehicles. This low emission of fuel to the environment is achieved by the smaller size of the engine. The smaller the size of the engine the less it disturbs the environment. The Environment Protection Agency or EPA recommends that a normal passenger vehicle should not emit carbon dioxide of more than 5.5 metric ton, which has made the hybrid vehicles more favorable to the EPA as these vehicles emit less or equal to this set limit or carbon dioxide. Taking practical example from the most popular vehicles, we can see that how these hybrid vehicles have become favorable by the EPA. The Toyota Prius, Honda Civic and Insight emit 3.5, 4.1 and 3.5 tons of carbon dioxide, which is below the set level of carbon dioxide emission to the environment. These vehicles are also capable to reduce the emission or of other pollutants by up to 90%.
Batteries used in the hybrid vehicles
The most common type of batteries used in the hybrid vehicles are;
Both of these types of batteries have proved to be environment friendly. Lithium-ion batteries are considered to be the less harmful as compared to the nickel metal hydride batteries. Nickel hydride batteries are less toxic than the lead acid or nickel cadmium type of batteries.
Lithium-ion batteries are much smaller and less heavy as compared to most of the batteries and it charges more efficiently. These batteries perform better than the nickel metal batteries and produce three times more voltage as compared to the nickel ones. These batteries are also capable of storing more energy, compared to nickel metal batteries. They are also capable to save fuel up to 30% and save the environment by reducing the levels of carbon dioxide emission into the environment.
Cost saving vehicles
The running cost of the hybrid vehicles is reduced as it is partly running on electric power, saved in the batteries, and partly on fuel. These vehicles also re-use the energy that is wasted when using the brakes, saving more energy levels in the battery and reducing the cost of the fuel. The use of lithium-ion battery in a hybrid vehicle will also benefit the user in cost saving as this battery is capable of storing more energy and performing better and also have a longer life as compared to other type of batteries.
Higher cost of hybrid vehicle
Hybrid cars come in high prices as compared to normal cars. This is because of the use of some expensive materials use in the manufacturing of these cars. Dysprosium is one such element used in the hybrid vehicle, which is very rare in nature. It is used in the manufacturing of electric motors and batteries. Another rare element use in these vehicles is the Neodymium. It is also used in the electric motors. Most of these rare elements are found in China and if not discovered in the near future in other parts of the world, it could be difficult for the companies to manufacture such cost-effective and environment friendly vehicles.
Companies are not just manufacturing hybrid cars but they are also working on other vehicles like hybrid buses, railway trains, cranes, ships and even aircrafts. All these means of transportations are cost-effective and environment friendly.
When it comes to hybrid vehicle, it just doesn't mean that these engines are only based on the properties of fuel and electric power but there are also other types of engines being manufactured for these vehicles.
Knowing the benefits of these vehicles, the trend is still not very high towards them as it should be. Currently very few percentage of individuals and companies prefer the hybrid vehicles, but it is expected that this trend will rise in the near future, when their costs will be reduced and their efficiency be increased.