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Hybrid electric

Hybrid-electric vehicles are electrically-driven vehicles (see electric car[?]) which rely not only on batteries but also on an internal combustion engine driving a generator to provide the electricity.

There are several great advantages to this configuration:

  • The vehicle is lighter and roomier than a purely electric vehicle, because it does not need to carry nearly as many batteries
  • The internal-combustion engine in a hybrid-electric can be much smaller and lighter, getting far better gas mileage than in a conventional vehicle, because the engine runs at a relatively constant speed, and does not need to provide direct power for acceleration, which is the biggest reason for large engines
  • There are fewer power transfers from fuel to drive than in a conventional vehicle, so the energy is used more efficiently
  • Braking can be configured to recapture part of the kinetic energy of movement that is otherwise lost in a conventional vehicle

The first successful hybrid-electric car was engineered by Ferdinand Porsche in 1928. Since then, hobbyists have built such cars but no such car was put into production until the twenty-first century, when Honda and Toyota were the first two companies to produce a modified hybrid-electric. These vehicles have a direct linkage from the internal combustion engine to the drive, so that the engine can provide acceleration power. (See Gas-electric hybrid engine, diesel-electric locomotive)

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