What is a Hybrid Car & How Does It Work?

2021 Toyota Camry Hybrid XSE Parked


Over the past few years, it seems as if automotive technology has rapidly advanced. With so many changes, you may wonder, “What is a hybrid car, and how does it work?” Hybrid cars are vehicles that rely on both gas and electric power to propel you forward on the Bellaire streets. While there are variances in the way the power is used, the goal is to always offer greater efficiency. At Serra Traverse City, we’re proud to represent brands like Toyota and Volvo to offer some of the most advanced hybrid models on the Kalkaska streets. So, how do hybrid cars work? Read on below to learn more!

How Do Hybrid Cars Work? Parallel Hybrid vs. Series Hybrid

If you’re eager to reduce your carbon footprint, any hybrid is a great choice. But what is a hybrid car, and how does it work under the hood? A hybrid vehicle has two power sources, a standard combustion engine, and an electric battery. In any hybrid system, they work together to maximize efficiency. Here’s a breakdown of how hybrid cars work:

How Hybrid Cars Work: Parallel Hybrid

Most hybrid models offered today are equipped with parallel hybrid systems. In these vehicles, the gas-powered engine and battery are connected to the transmission, whether it’s an automatic, manual, or CVT system. The battery and engine combine their output into one in this configuration.

How Hybrid Cars Work: Series Hybrid

In vehicles with a series hybrid system, an electric motor and gasoline engine are utilized, but only the electric motor is paired with the transmission. Here, the gas engine acts as a generator for the electric motor, which is the sole source of power.

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

Now that you have a better understanding of the mechanics behind hybrid vehicles, you may be curious how they compare to plug-in electric vehicles. So, how do the two differ? EVs use electric power only, rather than the combination of a battery and combustion engine which you see in hybrids. However, you can even secure the keys of a plug-in hybrid, which combines the benefits of EVs and hybrids into one:

  • Plug-in hybrids can go further on electric power thanks to their increased battery packs.
  • For short-distance driving, you can treat your plug-in hybrid just like an EV. This means relying on 100% electric power on the Lake City streets and charging up overnight.
  • If you’re taking on a longer drive, you can fill up on gasoline to use as a backup once you’ve exceeded your electric range.
  • Since they’re not fully electric, plug-in hybrid models can charge within 1 to 4 hours.

Discover Hybrid Power with Serra Traverse City 

After learning about the advantages of driving a hybrid, are you ready to buy? If so, you can visit any of our Traverse City dealerships to find a range of new and pre-owned hybrid models. If you have any lingering questions about the mechanics of hybrid driving, contact us at your convenience.

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