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 (HEVs), which combine an internal combustion engine and one or more electric motors. There are several different types of hybrid cars, so people have a good amount of choices available to buy. Today, all hybrid cars are parallel hybrid cars, and all series hybrid cars are now electric cars.

Hybrid Electric Cars

Types of Hybrid Electric Cars


Parallel Hybrid Vehicles (Fully Hybrid Vehicles) – In a parallel hybrid vehicle, an electric motor and an internal combustion engine are installed so that they can both individually or together power the vehicle.

Mild Parallel Hybrid Vehicles and Micro Hybrid Vehicles – These types generally use a compact electric motor (usually <20 kW) to provide auto-stop/start features and to provide extra power assist during the acceleration, and to generate power on the deceleration phase (known as regenerative braking). Internal combustion engine is used as primary drive. Power-Split or Series-Parallel Hybrid Vehicles – In a power-split hybrid electric drive train there are two electric motors and an internal combustion engine. The total power from the engine and the first electric motor can be shared to drive the wheels via a power splitter. The ratio can be from 0-100% for the combustion engine, or 0-100% for the electric motor, or an anything in between, such as 40% for the electric motor and 60% for the combustion engine. The second electric motor can act as a generator charging the batteries. On the open road, the primary power source is the internal combustion engine, when maximum power is required, for example to overtake, the electric motor is used to assist maximizing the available power for a short period, giving the effect of having a larger engine than actually installed. In most applications, the engine is switched off when the car is stationary reducing curbside emissions.

Extended Range Electric Vehicle (EREV) or Range-Extended Electric Vehicle (REEV) – It is a series hybrid vehicle that runs on battery-powered electric motor. To extend the range of vehicle, Fuel-based internal combustion engine is used to charge the battery or to run the vehicle once all the battery is depleted. The range extension can be accomplished with the either series or parallel hybrid layouts.

Series-Hybrid Vehicles – Series-Hybrid Vehicles are driven by the electric motor with no mechanical connection to the engine. Instead there is an engine tuned for running a generator when the battery pack energy supply isn’t sufficient for demands.

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) – Another subtype added to the hybrid market is the Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV). The PHEV is usually a general fuel-electric (parallel or serial) hybrid with increased energy storage capacity (usually Li-ion batteries). It may be connected to mains electricity supply at the end of the journey to avoid charging using the on-board internal combustion engine.

Fuel Cell Electric Hybrid Vehicles – The fuel cell hybrid is generally an electric vehicle equipped with a fuel cell. The fuel cell as well as the electric battery are both power sources, making the vehicle a hybrid. Fuel cells use hydrogen as a fuel and power the electric battery when it is depleted.