Hybrid Electric Vehicle

What Does Hybrid Electric Vehicle Mean?

A hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) is a type of vehicle that uses both an electric engine and a conventional internal combustion engine. This type of vehicle is considered to have better performance and fuel economy compared to a conventional one.

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Techopedia Explains Hybrid Electric Vehicle

There are different types of HEVs, namely, series hybrids, parallel hybrids and series-parallel hybrids.

HEVs usually have the following properties:

  • Auto-start/auto-shutdown – To avoid wasting energy during idle time, the engine of a hybrid electric vehicle automatically shuts down and starts as soon as the accelerator is touched.
  • Regenerative braking – Considered one of the salient features of HEVs, the energy wasted during braking and coasting is converted and stored in the battery, which is then used by the electric motor.
  • Electric motor assist – By helping the engine during passing, accelerating or moving up a hill, the electric motor allows the engine to be made smaller and more efficient in nature.

The advantages of HEVs include:

  • Oil consumption is less than that of conventional vehicles.
  • Carbon-based emission is lower, which makes HEVs more eco-friendly. This also helps conserve non-renewable resources like petroleum products.
  • Maintenance costs are lower than those of conventional vehicles.
  • With the electric motor taking charge of the engine during long travels, more mileage can be achieved with HEVs compared to other types of vehicles.
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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.