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babe_on_wheels 21st June 2006 10:08

comparison of eco friendly cars...
What is the functioning of hybrid cars?
Is it an amalgamation of the combustion engine and the battery powered engine?
what is the performance of the hybrid cars as compared to the battery powered ones?

niksin 21st June 2006 14:20

The word hybrid itself means amalgamation... So you are right in saying that it is an amalgamation of the combustion engine and a battery powered one. There are a few cars in the market (US, Japan markets of course) which are hybrid. Toyota Prius and Honda Civic Hybrid are two.

The main disadvantage of combustion engines are in the fact that they do not perform optimally in all RPM ranges. There is only a definite range in which they will perform optimally. Hence your car engine would be drinking more fuel and emitting out more pollution when you are accelerating (say from a standstill). This is where the electric power comes into play. The combustion engine is started when the vehicle has reached some speed so that the engine does not need to revved at higher levels (basically keeping the engine at most efficient RPM levels). Also in Toyota Prius the while braking the braking energy is converted into electrical energy and used to recharge the batteries. If the vehicle speed falls instead of dropping the engine RPM from the most efficient band, the extra energy is used to charge the batteries, and if the speed drops too low then the petrol engine is shut off and electric motor takes over...

The mileage that these vehicles get are very high.. in the range of 28-32kmpl in city driving conditions (remember both are sedan cars that we are talking about). Performance wise both are not lacking either.

Toyota Prius has 76 bhp from petrol and 67 bhp from the electric motor. But the torque achived is awesome 111 Nm from the petrol engine @ 4200 rpm and 400Nm @ 1200 rpm from the electric motor.

Honda Civic on the other hand boasts of a 110 bhp petrol motor and a 20 bhp electric motor and 123 lb-ft torque @ 1000 - 2500 rpm (from petrol engine) and 76 lb-ft torque from the electric motor.

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