How Do Hybrid Cars Work?

2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrids driving fast on busy street
Over the years, the advancement in the automotive industry has allowed hybrid electric technology to take a major leap forward. Not only are hybrid models accessible to drivers all around Old Saybrook, but they’re affordable too! With the team at Westbrook Toyota, explore our range of mild hybrid and hybrid-electric vehicles to feature impressive fuel economy and performance capabilities. You may be wondering, “how do hybrid cars work?” The world of hybrids and EVs is still growing. Read on to learn more about what a hybrid car is and how it works, then explore our inventory of Toyota alternative fuel vehicles.

What is a Hybrid Car and How Does it Work: Parallel Hybrid vs. Series Hybrid Models

Whether you prefer the Toyota Prius or Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, a hybrid model allows you to improve your fuel economy on your trips around Madison. But what is a hybrid car and how does it work? To minimize fuel consumption, a hybrid model is powered by two sources that work together: a traditional internal combustion engine, and an electric battery. Typically, hybrid models are found in a parallel or series configuration:

Parallel Hybrid

How do hybrid cars work when equipped with a parallel hybrid system? Parallel hybrid systems are popular among most hybrid models as they power the vehicle by blending both an electric motor and gasoline engine together. To complete the system, both engines are connected to the automatic, manual, or CVT transmission system.

Series Hybrid

How series hybrid cars work is by also pairing an electric motor with a gasoline engine, however, only the electric motor is connected to the transmission. This means that the electric motor is the only source of power for the vehicle while the gasoline engine acts as a generator for the electric motor.

Hybrid Car Compared to Plug-In Electric Vehicles

You now have an idea of what a hybrid car is and how it works, where do the plug-in electric models fit in. Well, they actually have distinct differences. How hybrid cars work is by combining the power of a gasoline engine with an electric battery, while EVs only use electric power. Yet, with the advancements in technology, those lines are beginning to blur as some brands are offering plug-in hybrid models that combine the benefits of both:

  • By adding an increased battery pack, plug-in hybrid models can go further solely on electric power.
  • When running short errands around Clinton, you can act like you’re driving an EV relying 100% one electric power. Once you recharge at night, you’re ready to head out again for the daily commute or weekend getaway.
  • For those longer trips that go further than the electric driving range, simply fill up the tank to use the combination of your electric motor and gas engine.
  • Since plug-in hybrid models don’t completely rely on electricity, the total charging time can be from 1 to 4 hours.

Discover Toyota Hybrid Models with Westbrook Toyota!

Get a taste of how hybrid cars work on your Westbrook drives, and contact us at Westbrook Toyota to schedule a test drive today! For a closer look at how hybrid cars work to provide you with impressive fuel economy, take a closer look at the gas mileage of the fan-favorite 2021 Toyota Prius, or explore the benefits and possible drawbacks of a hybrid model.


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