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Hybrid electric vehicles Print
Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) technology combines the best characteristics of fuel-driven engines (e.g., heat engine, fuel cell), electric motor drives, and energy storage components.

Since fuel cell technology is not ready for volume production jet, an HEV is usually designed with a heat engine that functions as the primary power source, and an electric power storage system that functions as the secondary power source. The presence of the secondary power source allows designers to size the heat engine for cruising power requirements. The secondary source handles peak power demands for acceleration. Additionally, it is used for capturing regenerative braking energy and applying that energy for further acceleration or for basic energy needs of supplementary electrical systems.

Unlike a traditional vehicle, where the engine must “ramp up” before full torque can be provided, an electric motor drive can provide full torque at low speeds. This characteristic gives the vehicle excellent acceleration from standstill. Through this basic design structure, HEVs promise to offer low maintenance, clean operation, and high fuel economy.