How Do Hybrid Cars Work?

2022 GMC Hummer EV offroading

More and more drivers in Waianae are opting for a hybrid vehicle to be more efficient on the roads, so it’s no surprise you’d want one for yourself. But if you’re new to the electric side of things, you might be wondering “What even is a hybrid car and how does it work?” Generally speaking, hybrid cars are powered by both gas and electricity at the same time. Find out how parallel hybrid and series hybrid vehicles work specifically as well as how hybrid cars compare to plug-in hybrids below! 


Parallel Hybrid vs. Series Hybrid Vehicles

A hybrid car is equipped with a traditional internal combustion engine and an electric battery, so they rely on both when you’re out and about in Ewa Beach. Take a closer look at how hybrid cars work in their two most common configurations, parallel and series, here:

Parallel Hybrid

Most hybrids for sale are parallel hybrids. This type of hybrid has both the electric motor and the gasoline engine connected to the transmission, whether it’s an automatic, manual, or CVT system. They work by blending both power sources together.

Series Hybrid

On the other hand, the series hybrids also use an electric motor paired with a gasoline engine, but only the electric motor is paired with the transmission. What this means is that the electric motor is the sole source of power while the gasoline engine acts as a generator for the electric motor.

How Do Hybrid Cars Work Compare to Plug-In Electric Vehicles?

While plug-in electric vehicles might seem like they work the same as hybrids, it’s actually not true. The difference is that hybrid vehicles run on the combined power of a gasoline engine and electric battery while EVs rely on electric power solely. There are newer vehicles that are blurring this distinction, such as plug-in hybrids. As you can guess, plug-in hybrids combine the benefits of both:

  • With their increased battery packs, plug-in hybrids can go further on electric power alone. They have a range just like all-electric models. 
  • For short distances, you can use a plug-in hybrid much like you’d drive an EV– relying on 100% electric power all day and recharging at night.
  • If you’ll be heading out on a longer trip that exceeds the electric driving range, you can fill up on gasoline like you would with a conventional powertrain. This makes it worrisome, especially if you’re new to an electric vehicle. 
  • Because they don’t rely solely on electricity, hybrid plug-in vehicles take between 1 and 4 hours to fully charge.

For the full details on whether a hybrid or plug-in hybrid is best for your lifestyle in Waipahu, see our complete guide here. If you haven’t ruled out an all-electric vehicle either, see the benefits of one as well!

Discover More with Honolulu Buick GMC 

Have any follow-up questions? Feel free to reach out to our team in Honolulu! We can also tell you more about the upcoming all-electric Hummer SUV and truck and how you can reserve one with us. 


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