What is a hybrid car?

What is a hybrid car? Hybrids can come in many forms. As their name suggests, a hybrid car is one that gets its energy from two places – usually a petrol or diesel engine as well as a battery pack. Mild-hybrids tend to only have a very small battery which is recharged using regenerative braking. In a mild-hybrid, this electrical power is used as an additional aid for the engine, but isn’t powerful enough to run the car on electric power alone.

By comparison, a normal hybrid such as a Toyota Prius or a Hyundai Ioniq has a larger battery and can run the car on electric power for short periods of time, recharging the battery only when you brake and not by plugging it in (read more on plug-in hybrids by clicking here). Again, it can use that battery power to run ancillary items such as the air conditioning and also help the engine provide more acceleration when required.

Alternatively, it also uses any excess unrequired energy from the engine to recharge the battery alongside the regenerative braking. However, given the limited size of the battery, a hybrid can usually only travel on electric power alone for two or three miles at most at any one time.