What is a Hybrid Car and How Does It Work?

2021 Toyota Camry Hybrid XSE Parked


In the last decade, hybrid electric technology has undergone a massive evolution, making hybrid cars an affordable and sensible option for La Jolla drivers. Here at Mossy Toyota, we’re stocked with a vast inventory of mild hybrid and hybrid-electric vehicles – all more than capable of rivaling traditional gas-powered vehicles. 

New to the world hybrids and electric vehicles? Curious about how hybrid cars work? Learn more about hybrid cars with our breakdown below, then explore our impressive hybrid inventory today!

Parallel Hybrid vs. Series Hybrid Vehicles

Whether you’re driving a Toyota Avalon Hybrid or a Toyota Camry Hybrid, these types of vehicles are a fantastic choice for Chula Vista drivers with a desire to improve their fuel efficiency. What is a hybrid car and how does it work internally? A hybrid vehicle has two primary power sources: an electric battery, and a traditional internal combustion engine. In hybrid powertrain systems, the two components work together to keep fuel consumption to a minimum. Here’s how hybrid cars work in their two most common configurations, series and parallel:

Series Hybrid

Series hybrids use an electric motor paired with a gasoline engine, but only the electric motor is paired with the transmission. In these vehicles, the electric motor is the sole source of power and the gasoline engine acts as a generator for the electric motor.

Parallel Hybrid

Most hybrids on the market today are parallel hybrids. In these vehicles, both the electric motor and the gasoline engine are connected to the transmission, whether it’s an automatic, manual, or CVT system. They work by blending both power sources together.

How Do Hybrid Cars Work Compared to Plug-In Electric Vehicles?

Although you now have a better understanding of how hybrid cars work from our breakdown above, it’s crucial to understand that plug-in electric vehicles and hybrids are in two distinct categories. 

How do hybrids work differently from EVs? Hybrid vehicles run on the combined power of an electric battery and a gasoline engine, whereas EVs use electric power exclusively. However, newer vehicles are beginning to merge the two technologies. There are brands on the market that now offer plug-in hybrids, combining the strengths of both vehicle types:

  • Because they don’t rely solely on electricity, hybrid plug-in vehicles take between 1-4 hours to fully charge.
  • If you’ll be heading out on a longer trip that exceeds the electric driving range, you can fill up on gasoline like you would with a conventional powertrain vehicle.
  • For short distances around the Encinitas area, you can use a plug-in hybrid much like you’d drive an EV – relying on 100% electric power all day and recharging at night.
  • With their increased battery packs, plug-in hybrids can go further on electric power alone.

Experience True Hybrid Power with Mossy Toyota 

You’ve learned about hybrid technology and you’ve got a better understanding of how electric vehicles are powered. Now there’s only one question left: how do hybrid cars work for my San Diego drives? The Mossy Toyota staff will be happy to fill you in on the features of the gas-electric and plug-in electric vehicles currently in stock at our dealership. Contact us to begin your search today!

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