How Does A Hybrid Car Really Work? This Infographic Explains It

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How A Hybrid Works, infographic used courtesy of AutoMD

How A Hybrid Works, infographic used courtesy of AutoMD

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As we've said before, we love infographics.

Some of our favorites come from AutoMD, which did the one we ran two weeks ago on rising gas prices and simple ways to boost your gas mileage.

Now they've tackled the perennial question: How does a hybrid car work?

Specifically, they dissect the third generation of Toyota Prius, launched in 2010 as the followup to the very successful 2004-2009 model.

The infographic lays out the various mechanical components, explains how they work together, and shows how otherwise wasted energy is recaptured via regenerative braking and used to charge a battery pack that then powers a pair of electric motors that supplement the engine power.

The 2011 Toyota Prius, for the record, is rated by the EPA at 51 mpg city, 48 mpg highway, giving it the highest combined gas mileage of any gasoline car sold in the U.S.: 50 mpg.

[infographic used with permission of AutoMD]


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Comments (4)
  1. Great graphic, probably created by someone that doesn't drive a hybrid.

    What I often get asked is, where to you plug it in? They should have explained that.

  2. Nice... But I think they need to tackle How a Chevy Volt Hybrid works in order to explain why it's a different hybrid than Toyota's. (Serial vs Parallel Hybrid tech.)

  3. Actually, Chevy Volt hybrid system is almost the same as the Prius hybrid system, except the Volt has bigger battery, bigger motor, and can plug-in.

  4. This is the best explanation as to the working of the Prius drive I have seen...

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