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Here are my thoughts on why the Bolt or a Tesla is a better option than a Plug-in Hybrid. There are basically two major negatives to all electrics. I call it R2 (R-squared). These are range and refill/recharge time. The Bolt and Teslas offer sufficient range to mitigate at least on of the Rs. Tesla does a better job on mitigating the second R but still doesn't match the Hybrid. So where does the plug in Hybrid fail? In my opinion it is the worst of both worlds. The electric side is to short on range so it would suffer from range anxiety except for the gas engine it falls back on. You need to both charge it and fill it with gas. so instead of one fueling operation you have two. You have a more complicated vehicle so maintenance and repairs can be more and with more points of failure, more to go wrong and need to be fixed. Then there is performance. The small gas engine and small electric motor and power means less performance. The Bolt is very quick and the Tesla is even quicker.

If you are going to have to plug in, why not be all-in and go all electric. You never have to go to a gas station and you very rarely have to go to a dealer. You get excellent performance and decent range that meets 99% of most needs. A very hard to beat combination!!
 

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So where does the plug in Hybrid fail? In my opinion it is the worst of both worlds. The electric side is to short on range so it would suffer from range anxiety except for the gas engine it falls back on. Then there is performance. The small gas engine and small electric motor and power means less performance.
Please correct me if I have this all messed up!! The hybrid EV (HEV) is basically a gasoline engine driven vehicle that increases mpg by using an electric motor to move the car until the speed is in an "gas-efficient" range (usually ~30 mph). Most ICE cars get 50-60 mpg once they are "up to speed" It's just that 1-5 mpg that they use starting from a complete stop. The AVERAGE ICE mpg then turns out to be EPA 15-30 mpg. The AVERAGE HEV mpg then turns out to be EPA 45-55 mpg. Some, like the Toyota Prius are first all electric and then all gas (regenerating battery capacity when no longer accelerating, and especially when hitting the brakes). Some, like the Honda Insight run both at once, at all times, more like a "electric-motor-assist" to the gasoline engine.

Are there not two types of "plug-in hybrid electric vehicle" (PHEV)? In one, the gasoline engine runs the wheels when the motor's battery power is gone, and in the other, gasoline runs a "generator" putting more juice back in the battery. The wheels are always driven by an electric motor and performance is determined by that arrangement and not whether the electrons were onloaded by an EVSE or "on the fly". OR, does every PHEV have a generator and never a piston engine?
 

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Good questions! In the case of my daughter's Prius Plug-in, I believe it uses the electric motor until the power is used up, about 30 miles then uses the gas engine. It does not recharge the battery as it must be plugged in to do that. In the pure Hybrid Lexus I owned in the past, the electric motor was an assist to the gas engine to improve mileage and the battery was not a separate large high voltage battery as in the Bolt or other Evs. Not sure what every car maker is doing in this regards. However, all Plug-in hybrids by definition use two power sources, a battery that must be plugged in to be charged and a gas engine. None do what diesel locomotives do where the diesel engine is connected to a generator that produces electricity to power the electric drive engine.
 

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Good questions! In the case of my daughter's Prius Plug-in, I believe it uses the electric motor until the power is used up, about 30 miles then uses the gas engine. It does not recharge the battery as it must be plugged in to do that. In the pure Hybrid Lexus I owned in the past, the electric motor was an assist to the gas engine to improve mileage and the battery was not a separate large high voltage battery as in the Bolt or other Evs. Not sure what every car maker is doing in this regards. However, all Plug-in hybrids by definition use two power sources, a battery that must be plugged in to be charged and a gas engine. None do what diesel locomotives do where the diesel engine is connected to a generator that produces electricity to power the electric drive engine.
I suggest you do a little more research.

The Prius Prime will recharge the battery without being plugged in. It is rated at 25 miles pure electric by the EPA. Unless you select "EV only" mode, with a fullly charged battery it will still supplement the electric motors (it has two) with the ICE depending on a number of variables.

Many Plug in hybrids have a mode where the engine runs solely to recharge the batteries and all propulsion is provided by the electric motors.
The ICE in the BMW i3 REx can only act as a generator to recharge the batteries.


Most plug-ins will swap between multiple modes with the ICE and/or the electric motors providing propulsion. Some allow a large amount of control over this process, others allow none at all (other than how hard you depress the go pedal.)

This overview of the 2nd Gen Voltec system would be a good place to start:
 

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DucRider: what a fabulous video. So much of the "knowledge" we pass around is anecdotal and not researched. This video truly opened my eyes and widened my understanding of "hybrids" exponentially. Every Bolt owner should see this because we so often get asked about the differences between a Volt and a Bolt.

Alas, I am still an EV newbie!!

P.S. Did you see/participate in the survey PlugShare emailed ("... for being a part of the PlugShare community ...") about the Bolt? One question was: "Have you ever driven in 'L' mode?" with one choice being "Don't know what that is." Another question was: "Have you ever used the regen paddle?" with a similar offered response. Are there really Bolt owners who neither know nor have tried these modes? {Bad survey, in my opinion.}
 

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There are basically two major negatives to all electrics. I call it R2 (R-squared). These are range and refill/recharge time.

If you are going to have to plug in, why not be all-in and go all electric. You never have to go to a gas station and you very rarely have to go to a dealer. You get excellent performance and decent range that meets 99% of most needs. A very hard to beat combination!!
I respectfully submit your proposition is flawed to begin with.

It is my position that any BEV or PHEV can not be generically or broadly compared to an ICEv with respect to value. The common denominator in all ICEv's is petrol. Any buyer just has to assume gas goes into the tank to make it go. The only other consideration is how far can the ICEv go one one gallon of gas.

BEV's & PHEV's require an additional measure of critical thinking. Unlike an ICEv, where the value is basically in the color, MPG, status, and other associated bells & whistles... The value decision for BEV's and PHEV's are totally unique to each and every individual buyer. The added component is driving habits. One can have a Chevy Volt, drive it 30,000 miles a year for years, and NEVER put a drop of gas in it (other than when forced to because the existing gas is stale). Conversely one can have a Tesla P100D and suffer daily range anxiety, and multiple tow-of-shame events over the same time period. It all depends on how the BEV/PHEV is used for that specific driver.

BEV's and PHEV's are simply not a good fit for everyone. Like a Ford F350 may not be a good fit for someone, yet a Corvette Z06 is a perfect fit. However, BEV's and PHEV's are great fits for most. But attempting to use the same logic when valuating a ICEv vs a BEV/PHEV is problematic.
 

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From my perspective as someone relatively new to the PHEV/BEV world, I think that plurality is a good thing at this point in time, given the relatively few vehicle options there are in these classes. (Although many more are queued up in the upcoming years.)

Case in point, I absolutely love my Bolt, but it is not really designed to tow anything. So, just on that point I must depend on my ICEv SUV. I would be happy with a reasonably priced PHEV vehicle that could tow, and I would try as best I could to avoid using the gas engine if possible. Better yet, given the way I'd be using the vehicle in general, I'd just as soon buy it used.

All of this will probably become academic in several years when there are lots of BEV options covering many different use cases including mine. But the reality today is that we are not there yet, so practically speaking PHEV's are a fine alternative where they make sense.

I would also point out that my old Volt was the "gateway drug" that convinced me that electric is the way to go. So, I think at the very least PHEV's are good transitional vehicles to get people comfortable with the idea of fueling their car with electricity, paving the way to wider, pure EV adoption later.
 

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Hello, I am new here and i haven't as yet receive my Bolt, ordered it in February 2017 and supposedly its being built now. Can't wait to drive it.

I'm not very interested in ICE Hybrids but they are a stepping stone to the next level of which i think is the combination of BEV and fuel cell Vehicles. This combination makes a lot of sense because they both use electric power for propulsion. This would eliminate range problems by having the fuel cell take up the slack when battery power is depleted. Knowing that BEV is more efficient at converting power to propulsion, the fuel cell system would only be used as back up to eliminate range problems.
 

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While it certainly is true that the pure electric is simpler than the hybrid, I strongly disagree that it is as simple as it should be. By all rights, I should be able to electrify my 57 Ford Thunderbird in about one weekend and have a car that I can easily repair and
diagnose. I'm waiting for someone to produce realistic DIY conversion kits - the biggest task is actually connecting the electric motor to the driveshaft. But I won't do it unless I end up with a practical EV - over 300 miles of range and 80% recharges in half an hour or so.
Unfortunately we are likely to end up in the same dreadful, stupid state we are today -
hardly a part being standardized, proprietary parts the rule - which cost a fortune becasue they are "dealer-only." Tesla Motors is the worst of the lot. They are already facing a class action lawsuit they can't win, have just been fined millions of dollars for fraudulent claims for their Solar City division, are being investigated for financial deceptions by the SEC , and so on. They originally promised a "$49,000" Model S , which they never built, and never intended to build. Now they have advertised a $35,000" Model 3 which they are not building, and likely may never build, at least not at that price. I wouldn't buy anything Tesla sells. Being a Tesla customer seems like
being a member of a Kool Aid drinking cult. Tesla has no credibility.
 

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Here are my thoughts on why the Bolt or a Tesla is a better option than a Plug-in Hybrid.
For me it's simple: with a pure BEV I never have to burn any gas.

I love my Prius C, it's the best car I've had so far. But it's a gateway drug to pure electric vehicles - in my quest for better fuel efficiency I've now gotten to the point where I cringe every time the gas engine comes on...
 

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Discuss EVs with any hybrid owner or ICE owner - their argument against the EV is always, "They're just not practical. What if there's an emergency? What if the electric power goes off - what if - what if . . . . ?" They never want to admit how often one sees an ICE owner trudging down the roadside carrying a gas can or the AAA truck pouring in five gallons. Lack or attention can run out of range regardless of the fuel.

The humorous aside is every man I've talked EV with at some point says he'd consider one but his wife wouldn't trust one. Those who've read automotive history remember in the beginning of the automobile, the EV was considered the lady's choice because it was reliable, quiet, clean and always ready to go. The ICE was unreliable, noisy, smelly, difficult to crank and sometimes fuel was not available.

jack vines
 

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Here are my thoughts on why the Bolt or a Tesla is a better option than a Plug-in Hybrid. There are basically two major negatives to all electrics. I call it R2 (R-squared). These are range and refill/recharge time. The Bolt and Teslas offer sufficient range to mitigate at least on of the Rs. Tesla does a better job on mitigating the second R but still doesn't match the Hybrid. So where does the plug in Hybrid fail? In my opinion it is the worst of both worlds. The electric side is to short on range so it would suffer from range anxiety except for the gas engine it falls back on. You need to both charge it and fill it with gas. so instead of one fueling operation you have two. You have a more complicated vehicle so maintenance and repairs can be more and with more points of failure, more to go wrong and need to be fixed. Then there is performance. The small gas engine and small electric motor and power means less performance. The Bolt is very quick and the Tesla is even quicker.

If you are going to have to plug in, why not be all-in and go all electric. You never have to go to a gas station and you very rarely have to go to a dealer. You get excellent performance and decent range that meets 99% of most needs. A very hard to beat combination!!
Prior to purchasing the Bolt, I had a Leaf and a C-Max plugin hybrid. I sold the C-Max when I purchased the Bolt. A big negative for a plug-in hybrid is the frequency of charging. I charge the Bold every few weeks. I seldom deplete the battery and usually charge to 88% via hilltop mode. The reason that we sold the C-Max is that it only had 22 miles on battery. It would get 100% depleted often twice a day. This car had probably 1200 full charge cycles in the two years that we owned this car. I was certain that this battery would not last.
We still have the Leaf, which only has about 25k miles on it. Range has not noticeably diminished. Love the Bolt!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
This thread has been educational for me, to say the least. My last hybrid, which was over 5 years ago (a Lexus SUV Hybrid), left me with a bad taste for hybrids. It was slow and gas milage was not really any better than I get with the Hyundai Genesis. The Genesis is a rocket while still getting great milage on regular. I was initially very hesitant to even give the Bolt a try after my Hybrid experience. It was the Tesla's and their performance that convinced me it might be worth a try and after one drive I became sold. I will replace the Genesis with the Tesla Model 3 as soon as it is available to me. I absolutely love not having to go get gas. My biggest concern is a longer trip and here is where the Tesla will beat the Bolt due to its extensive charging network and higher wattage charging capabilities. While the other manufacturers are working on improving range, their lack of supporting charging networks where needed for travel means they are still not as attractive as a Tesla in this regard.

In a way, this difference reminds me of the old days of main frame computers versus mini-computers and then mini-computers versus micro computers. When your business model is entrenched in a particular technology and an new technology disrupts it, the natural tendency is to fight it and poo-poo it. The main frame companies (most of them are gone now-Burroughs, Control Data, Univac, etc.) fought the advent of the mini because it undercut their income producing main frames. Up & down the company someone had something to lose. Salesmen in particular saw their incomes being drastically reduced and fought the hardest. The same is true for ICE manufacturers today. Their bread and butter is in cars selling in the millions so they resist making those cars that will only sell in the tens of thousands (at least for now). They do the same thing the main frame companies did, they make half hearted attempts to make their own version but don't fully get behind it with the support infrastructure. Why? Because it is a money losing deal for them. Their overhead and business model depends on the existing structure. Using computers as a case in point, we could charge very high prices for systems analysts to work on site and support the large main frames. The minis didn't need that support structure and because of the much lower price we couldn't charge as much for the systems support people. Think about how the low maintenance EV will impact the dealer service business. Do you think the dealers will want to sell a lot of these cars and no ICE cars? They have a large service & parts department overhead to support and depend on the ICE vehicles for the income needed to support that structure. This is where upstarts have the advantage. While they lack the current manufacturing expertise (same as true of mini computers) to produce in large quantities, they don't have the large overhead structure to support that current big car manufacturers have and no dealer network plays in their favor. Instead they have a relatively low cost sales structure with almost no inventory to support and a very small amount of space compared to a dealership. Once a company like Tesla (there will be others) gets the manufacturing down so they can produce in large quantities and obtain economies of scale, they have the advantage of selling at retail with no middleman to pay, relatively small retail spaces and no large inventory to carry the costs on and a small sales force. Further they don't need a large service department at every dealership as they develop and use their van delivery service model with only a few regional large service centers for those few jobs that can't be done at the customer's location. It is different thinking and I like that.

Lastly, I wanted to say, I started this thread to help create conversation and engagement and to see what other thought and learn. So far, it has definitely been a learning experience. Thanks to all of you that contributed to my education.
 

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The Chevy Volt drive system is really complicated and or sophisticated. The Bolt's system is so much simpler. Of course it is the battery cost that drive up the Bolt's price.
 

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Discuss EVs with any hybrid owner or ICE owner - their argument against the EV is always, "They're just not practical. What if there's an emergency? What if the electric power goes off - what if - what if . . . . ?" They never want to admit how often one sees an ICE owner trudging down the roadside carrying a gas can or the AAA truck pouring in five gallons. Lack or attention can run out of range regardless of the fuel.

The humorous aside is every man I've talked EV with at some point says he'd consider one but his wife wouldn't trust one. Those who've read automotive history remember in the beginning of the automobile, the EV was considered the lady's choice because it was reliable, quiet, clean and always ready to go. The ICE was unreliable, noisy, smelly, difficult to crank and sometimes fuel was not available.

jack vines
My wife has that stereotypical response to my new Bolt. She just doesn't accept that electrics are practical, even though she has to ride in it fairly often. Just feels comfortable in her 2006 Acura, that seems like a land cruiser to me along with being noisy, smelly and requiring a lot of gas. Most people haven't understood the technical basis of BEV's yet, but they have had a lifetime to get used to ICE.
Recently, I was cleaning out our garage. Out went antifreeze, waste oil, transmission fluid, various greases, some oil filters and a lot of other relics from my 65 Mustang, my sons 99 BMW M3 and so on. (all properly recycled, of course)
 

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The Chevy Volt drive system is really complicated and or sophisticated. The Bolt's system is so much simpler. Of course it is the battery cost that drive up the Bolt's price.
I blame the high cost of manufacturing a Bolt on its limited scale production rather than the battery as such. Looking at the optics of this, the sales price was surely set to "beat" the magic number $29,999.00 after incentives. I'd argue that if the cost of manufacture per one Bolt was 5 grand higher or lower, the MRSP would still be $37,495.00
 

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Discuss EVs with any hybrid owner or ICE owner - their argument against the EV is always, "They're just not practical. What if there's an emergency? What if the electric power goes off - what if - what if . . . . ?" They never want to admit how often one sees an ICE owner trudging down the roadside carrying a gas can or the AAA truck pouring in five gallons. Lack or attention can run out of range regardless of the fuel.
Exactly! There's little rationality when it comes to cars. Reminds me of a NPR Car Talk show years ago. Some woman was wanting to buy a car and looking for advice, she was thinking of a big truck or van because she had to pick up relatives at the airport once a year. Tom and Ray burst out laughing, their advice was to not buy a car for the rare events, but what you do all the time. Then just rent a car for those occasional unusual trips.

This has always been exactly my thinking - renting a car is cheap and easy. A colleague drives a Volt because he likes the range, but on talking to him it sounds like he rarely or never uses it (his wife drives it around town all day). Yet he insists he needs the range (his life is into securing his security - he's a worrier - so that probably plays a part). Or another friend who got a big monster truck, just to ferry his small person around.

People are so clueless sometimes ...
 

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I blame the high cost of manufacturing a Bolt on its limited scale production rather than the battery as such. Looking at the optics of this, the sales price was surely set to "beat" the magic number $29,999.00 after incentives. I'd argue that if the cost of manufacture per one Bolt was 5 grand higher or lower, the MRSP would still be $37,495.00
Yes the present price is driven mainly by the battery (about $11k for the Bolt I believe) due to production costs. Chevy is quite good at producing cars for cheap, including new designs, so the limited production is a lesser factor.

On the battery that is changing rapidly due to the Gigafactory and such, projections are that in the next 10 years (probably 5-7) BEV's will be cheaper than ICE cars for one off the assembly line. When you include cost to operate we're already there, as Taxi companies well know.
 

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This thread has been educational for me, to say the least. My last hybrid, which was over 5 years ago (a Lexus SUV Hybrid), left me with a bad taste for hybrids. It was slow and gas milage was not really any better than I get with the Hyundai Genesis. The Genesis is a rocket while still getting great milage on regular. I was initially very hesitant to even give the Bolt a try after my Hybrid experience. It was the Tesla's and their performance that convinced me it might be worth a try and after one drive I became sold. I will replace the Genesis with the Tesla Model 3 as soon as it is available to me. I absolutely love not having to go get gas. My biggest concern is a longer trip and here is where the Tesla will beat the Bolt due to its extensive charging network and higher wattage charging capabilities. While the other manufacturers are working on improving range, their lack of supporting charging networks where needed for travel means they are still not as attractive as a Tesla in this regard.

In a way, this difference reminds me of the old days of main frame computers versus mini-computers and then mini-computers versus micro computers. When your business model is entrenched in a particular technology and an new technology disrupts it, the natural tendency is to fight it and poo-poo it. The main frame companies (most of them are gone now-Burroughs, Control Data, Univac, etc.) fought the advent of the mini because it undercut their income producing main frames. Up & down the company someone had something to lose. Salesmen in particular saw their incomes being drastically reduced and fought the hardest. The same is true for ICE manufacturers today. Their bread and butter is in cars selling in the millions so they resist making those cars that will only sell in the tens of thousands (at least for now). They do the same thing the main frame companies did, they make half hearted attempts to make their own version but don't fully get behind it with the support infrastructure. Why? Because it is a money losing deal for them. Their overhead and business model depends on the existing structure. Using computers as a case in point, we could charge very high prices for systems analysts to work on site and support the large main frames. The minis didn't need that support structure and because of the much lower price we couldn't charge as much for the systems support people. Think about how the low maintenance EV will impact the dealer service business. Do you think the dealers will want to sell a lot of these cars and no ICE cars? They have a large service & parts department overhead to support and depend on the ICE vehicles for the income needed to support that structure. This is where upstarts have the advantage. While they lack the current manufacturing expertise (same as true of mini computers) to produce in large quantities, they don't have the large overhead structure to support that current big car manufacturers have and no dealer network plays in their favor. Instead they have a relatively low cost sales structure with almost no inventory to support and a very small amount of space compared to a dealership. Once a company like Tesla (there will be others) gets the manufacturing down so they can produce in large quantities and obtain economies of scale, they have the advantage of selling at retail with no middleman to pay, relatively small retail spaces and no large inventory to carry the costs on and a small sales force. Further they don't need a large service department at every dealership as they develop and use their van delivery service model with only a few regional large service centers for those few jobs that can't be done at the customer's location. It is different thinking and I like that.

Lastly, I wanted to say, I started this thread to help create conversation and engagement and to see what other thought and learn. So far, it has definitely been a learning experience. Thanks to all of you that contributed to my education.
You touched on the two biggest threats to the ICEV cartel.
Freedom
Cost of ownership
You're absolutely right in that Tesla's investment in the supercharger network as well as outperforming pretty much every metric you can use to compare EV's with ICEV's has the legacy automakers worried. Until the other manufacturers take EV's seriously and contribute to or support a national fast charging (not the current level 3 either) network they will always be a distant second to Tesla as far as a serious contender to ICEV's. Those of us who have owned EV's already know the lower cost of ownership, especially as the miles add up. Gas being only a fraction of those savings. It stands to reason though as you look at the complexity of the two. Once the warranties are up, EV's really shine. The cash cow of repairs which is the bulk of franchised dealers profits will start to disappear as EV's become the norm. It will be interesting to see what they morph into to remain in business.
There's a third threat that will probably be the nail in the coffin and that is direct sales. Like Amazon has done to big box stores, Tesla will do to the franchised dealer network. Michigan is going to be the test case that will finally strike the mortal blow to NADA as it's the most populous state that does not allow Tesla to sell direct to citizens of that state.
https://cleantechnica.com/2017/08/22/tesla-wins-battle-war-michigan/
https://electrek.co/2017/07/13/tesla-vs-state-of-michigan-car-dealers/
https://www.tesla.com/blog/raw-deal-michigan
Once Michigan succumbs, New Jersey, Missouri, and a handful of others will look even more ridiculous than they already do.
An interesting note, GM is mentioned in the lawsuit as "using its considerable influence in the state to help push the so-called Anti-Tesla bill through the legislature."
 

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Please correct me if I have this all messed up!! The hybrid EV (HEV) is basically a gasoline engine driven vehicle that increases mpg by using an electric motor to move the car until the speed is in an "gas-efficient" range (usually ~30 mph)... Some, like the Toyota Prius are first all electric and then all gas (regenerating battery capacity when no longer accelerating, and especially when hitting the brakes). Some, like the Honda Insight run both at once, at all times, more like a "electric-motor-assist" to the gasoline engine.
The main fuel savings from a hybrid comes from being able to undersize (or detune) the gasoline engine while maintaining acceptable acceleration performance. Gas engines are actually most efficient near full throttle (acceleration, going up hill, etc).They are very inefficient at steady cruising where the throttle opening is small ("gas" pedal barely pressed). Undersizing the gas engine means that more throttle needs to be used just to maintain cruising speed, which is good because that is more efficient. Acceleration is supplemented with the electric motor so that performance is tolerable, or even quick depending on the vehicle.

Energy that is normally wasted as heat in a conventional vehicle is instead captured by the electric generator (which is also the motor when being used to accelerate), and stored in the battery. This further increases fuel efficiency.

The Prius often shuts off the engine and runs on electricity at low steady speeds. Again, this is because gasoline engines are very inefficient (like 3x worse) when lightly used. So, the Prius is primarily used in EV mode when power demand is low, and primarily gasoline when power demand is high. The gasoline engine charges the battery whenever the charge drops below some threshold.

There are 2 ways fundamental ways to implement a hybrid system. Series and parallel.

Series- Petrol engine provides power for the electric motor, which drives the vehicle. The advantage of this system is it's less complex and the petrol engine can be run at peak efficiency. Downside is major conversion losses. The conversions required are; chemical (gasoline) > kinetic (spinning shaft) > electrical (generator) > chemical (battery) > kinetic (electric motor). The last 2 steps might be skipped in some systems. Examples of a series hybrid are locomotives and the gen I Volt.

Parallel- Both the petrol and electric motors directly drive the vehicle. Although this system is more complex since the power sources have to be blended together, this is more efficient since there are less conversion losses. Vehicles such as the Prius can still act like a series hybrid in that the gasoline engine can charge the battery at peak efficiency when needed. Most hybrid vehicles are parallel hybrids since it maximizes acceleration and efficiency.
 
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