Are hybrid vehicles and electric cars the same?

I want to know if hybrid cars and electric cars are the same or are they different. If they're different, explain how?

8 Answers

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  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Both of these things refer to how the vehicle is powered but they are not the same. It does NOT refer to different fuels. That would be a flex fuel vehicle. It means different engines.

    An electric car is powered only by one or more electric motors. The electric motor can get its power from a number of sources. An electric train or bus gets its power from an overhead line or from a special 3ed rail.

    A battery powered electric car has the electricity stored in batteries. This vehicle will get all of its power from the batteries. The batteries must be charged from an outlet. You can even have fuel cells that make power for an otherwise electric vehicle.

    But there is a special kind of hybrid where the engine does not drive the wheels. Instead it only makes electricity for the electric motor (with any extra amount going to batteries). This is a series hybrid. The proposed Volt is to be a series hybrid. You could plug in this vehicle for some power or you can get all the power from the fuel. But the wheels are driven only by electric motors.

    Far more common just now are parallel hybrids. These vehicles have both an electric motor and another (usually gasoline) engine but here both of these engines can drive the wheels. Sometimes they do it together. The Toyota Prius is a parallel hybrid. An older Prius had no option to charge the batteries from an outlet. All the power comes from the fuel.

    Hybrids have less of a battery capacity than a pure electric vehicle. Until recently you could not plug in a hybrid to charge its batteries. They had to get all their power from the engine. Now some are "plug in hybrids" In these vehicles you can charge batteries before you start out using an outlet.

    A hybrid tries to take advantage of both engines strong points. An electric motor pulls well and is good in stop and go traffic. The gasoline engine is not so efficient but is currently better at going a long distance. A pure electric car will be pollution free in operation, more efficient and cheaper to operate but may not go as far on a complete charge.

  • Diane
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    No. For mainstream cars that you can buy at a dealer, or will shortly be able to, an electric car is powered by an electric motor and runs off a battery you charge overnight. A hybrid has an electric motor, a gasoline motor, a generator, and a battery. When stopped, nothing runs. When starting, the electric motor moves the car initially and also starts the gas motor. When accelerating, the electric and gasoline motors both run for extra power. When decelerating or going downhil, the gas motor is off and the generator charges the battery. When cruising, the electic motor runs if the battery is full, or if the battery is low the gas motor runs and charges the battery through the generator. At least, in Toyota's "synergy drive". In pure parallel hybrid designs the gas motor cannot turn off when the car is moving. The battery is NiMh and will only drive the car a few km on its own. The point of all that is that you save fuel in the city, mostly because the gas motor is off when you are stopped in traffic. A plug-in hybrid has a larger (e.g. Li-Ion) battery and can be charged from the mains, but still has a gas engine. So you can drive for 50km just on battery, but for long trips you buy gas.

  • Dan
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    NO. Hybrids are electric and fuel, The fuel engine drives both the car and a generator for the electric motors.

  • 10 years ago

    hybrid vehicle is one that uses both fuel [internal combustion engine] and electric motors. It takes advantages of both systems. The fuel engine gives it long range, the electric maximizes the efficiency of the overall vehicle.

    True electric cars do not have an internal combustion engine as their power source.

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  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    hybrid cars are entirely different fom electric cars , hybrid cars use two fuels eg petrol nd electricity

  • rrb
    Lv 5
    10 years ago

    Hybrid vehicles use more than one fuel, the other being petroleum

  • 10 years ago

    depends on the hybrid make and model some are petrol and lpg then you have the electric environmentally unfriendly thing.completely different

  • 10 years ago

    They are different, but both suck !

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