What is a Hybrid Car?

Toyota Hybrid vehicles charging

These days, hybrid cars are more popular than ever in the Smyrna area, and it’s not hard to see why! They offer excellent efficiency, a smooth ride, and are great for the environment. Hybrids used to be relatively niche vehicles, but today almost every auto manufacturer has at least one hybrid variant in their lineup. Marietta Toyota offers a wide variety of hybrid vehicles in our inventory, including the Toyota Sienna, Toyota Venza, and of course the iconic Toyota Prius! 

But how do hybrid cars work? In short, they use a combination of gasoline and electric power to maximize your fuel economy and make for a smooth ride. However, there’s more to it than that. Hybrids can roughly be divided into three categories: parallel, series, and plug-in. The team at Marietta Toyota has more information on how hybrid cars work in the guide below.

Types of Hybrid Cars

As stated above, the simple definition of a hybrid car is that its powertrain contains both an electric motor and a gasoline engine. The amount of power directed by each source depends on what kind of hybrid the car is. It’s a good idea to know the difference between the three types of hybrids, so you can make an informed decision when picking out your next Atlanta ride. Here are the details:

Parallel Hybrid

This is the most common type of hybrid you’ll find on the market today. In a parallel hybrid car, the electric motor and gasoline engine are both connected to the transmission, and they use the two power sources together (i.e. in parallel) to propel the car forward.

Series Hybrid

In a series hybrid vehicle, only the electric motor is paired directly to the transmission, while the gasoline engine acts as a generator for the electric motor. This makes the electric motor the sole power source for the vehicle, differing from a parallel hybrid, which uses both power sources simultaneously. 

Plug-In Hybrid

Plug-in hybrids also have an electric motor and a gasoline engine connected to the transmission. However, they differ from parallel hybrids in that plug-in hybrids have larger battery packs that enable them to travel much farther on electric power alone. The trade-off is that the larger battery cannot recharge itself, so you have to plug it in to restore it to full power. In terms of efficiency, a plug-in hybrid is the most ideal choice, since you can cover plenty of ground without ever having to use a drop of gasoline.

Find Your Next Hybrid at Marietta Toyota!

If you have any questions about how hybrid cars work, don’t hesitate to contact our office! You can also stop by our dealership to set up a test drive around Kennesaw if you want to see how any of our hybrids handle on the road. And if you’re ready to start the buying process, be sure to check out our car buying tips! We look forward to seeing you soon.


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