The Technology Powering Hybrid Electric Vehicles
What is a Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV)?
- A hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) uses an ICE (Internal Combustion Engine, a petrol/diesel engine) and one or more electric motors to run.
- It can be powered by the electric motor alone, which uses energy stored in batteries, by the ICE, or both.
- The HEVs can be categorised into micro, mild and full hybrid vehicles, based on the degree of hybridisation.
What is Regenerative Braking System (RBS)?
- Based on the type of RBS, the energy recovery happens in multiple ways.
- A kinetic system can recover the energy lost during braking and then use this energy to recharge the high-voltage battery of the vehicle.
- An electric system generates electricity through a motor during sudden braking.
- Lastly, a hydraulic system uses pressurised tanks to store the vehicle’s kinetic energy and can offer a high energy recovery rate which is ideal for heavy vehicles.
What are the advantages of a Hybrid Electric Vehicle?
- The efficiency of HEVs will be determined by their ability to recover as much energy as possible while braking, with a higher degree of energy recovery lowering fuel consumption.
- A regenerative braking system (RBS) while enhancing fuel economy also helps in energy optimization resulting in minimum energy wastage.
- The hybrid vehicle combines the advantages of both the conventional ICE vehicles and the electric vehicles (EV). It allows the usage of fossil fuels which are as of right now, readily available along with an electric motor which reduces the emissions and increases efficiency.
What are the concerns regarding HEVs?
- Due to the presence of electric motors and ICE, the drive trains of HEVs are more complex than traditional vehicles.
- They could become obsolete very fast due to the rapid development in Electric Vehicle technology.
- While they increase the fuel efficiency compared to conventional ICE vehicles, they still generate pollution and Green House Gases (GHGs).
- The efficiency of a Hybrid will be determined by the amount of energy recovered by the Vehicle during braking. However, the energy recovered will depend upon factors like vehicle speed and stopping pattern.
- Due to the complexity of their drivetrains and their battery systems, they are more costly compared to conventional ICE vehicles.
Source The Hindu
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