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Getting Past Hybrid Technology Confusion

Hybrid Charging Station SignHybrid technology as it exists in automobiles has been around for three decades. Yet, we continue to see confusion over just exactly what hybrid technology is and isn’t, and the sign to the left is a symptom of a much larger problem.

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The sign was clearly put up with all good intentions (somewhere in Colorado), and is flat out wrong. A hybrid car does not need a charging station. A plug-in hybrid could. And that title is crucial because without that designation, you couldn’t plug in the hybrid if you tried!

So, here is a boring definition for you as it applies to automobiles, which is borrowed from Wikipedia: “A hybrid vehicle is a vehicle that uses two or more distinct power sources to move the vehicle. The term most commonly refers to hybrid electric vehicles, which combine an internal combustion engine and one or more electric motors.”

And that’s it. Two or more power sources, and generally internal combustion and electricity. The plain fact is that the vast majority of hybrids recharge the electric side of their propulsion system using either the internal combustion engine or the braking action of the vehicle while decelerating. These never need to be plugged in!

We have seen customers simply refuse to consider hybrid technology simply because they didn’t want to be bothered with recharging the battery. Yet, this is nearly never the case!

The Chevrolet Volt is a plug-in hybrid and a version of the Toyota Prius is as well. However, they will run just fine thank you very much without ever being plugged in! The internal combustion engine will either be used to keep the battery charged (the Volt) or drive the wheels and keep the battery charged (the Prius plug-in). Thus plugging it in is simply an advantage that will save additional fuel.

Now today gasoline is at its lowest price in years. However, any hybrid will save fuel without necessarily sacrificing performance. That’s a plus regardless of fuel costs at any given day. So, fear not the hybrid – get in, put it in gear and go. Just like any other car…

And leave the charging station for the pure electrics out there!

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