Identifying Hybrid Electric Vehicle Components :

 

Identifying Hybrid Electric Vehicle Components :

Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV) use a combination of an electric motor and a gasoline combustion engine in their powertrain. The powertrain consist of the engine, motor, and other major components to generate power and move the wheels on the vehicle. As an electric vehicle professional you are required to distinguish between the three major types of HEVs—hybrid, full hybrid, and plug-in hybrid—and identify their powertrain components and functions. This lesson will assist you in identifying the powertrain components of hybrid and full hybrid HEVs.

HEV, Full Hybrid, and Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle Characteristics

HEVs include an automatic shutoff feature, regenerative braking, and electric motor assist capabilities. These characteristics indicate what the car does when idling, and when and how the drive train is powered. At a minimum, hybrid, full hybrid, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles will include the following features:

  • An automatic shut-off, idle-off, or idle stop capability is the car’s ability to shut off the engine and motor and switch to battery power when the car is at rest, for instance, at a stop light or in stop-and-go traffic.
  • Regenerative braking technology uses the motor to help the brakes stop the car. It captures, converts, and stores some of the heat energy from brakes in the battery.
  • The electric motor assist feature uses electricity from the motor to provide additional power to the combustion engine during periods of acceleration and passing.

The full-hybrid vehicle includes all the capabilities listed above and adds the following:

  • Able to operate in electric motor-only mode for low-speed and low-acceleration driving.

The plug-in hybrid vehicle includes all the capabilities listed above and adds the following:

  • Recharges batteries from a charging station or plug.
  • Drives at least 20 miles on electricity alone.

Hybrid HEV Components

In your career as a HEV professional, you will need to identify and describe the relationship between the powertrain components in the major HEVs. The components in the hybrid electric vehicle include the gasoline engine, electric motor, and the battery. Locate these components in Figure 1 as you read the following descriptions. The hybrid vehicle includes:

  • Gasoline Engine (front left): provides most of the power, charges the battery through the motor.
  • Electric Motor (on right side): assist the engine, converts energy to electricity, charges the battery.
  • Battery (rear): stores energy, helps power car.

Illustration of a hybrid vehicle showing the combustion engine in the front left side, the generator on the front right side and the battery in the rear.Figure 1. Hybrid electric vehicle components. (CC BY 3.0 by Department of Energy Alternative Fuels Data Center)Now use the Hybrid tab on this webpage to learn how hybrid powertrain components work together propel the vehicle.

Full Hybrid Electric Vehicle Components

The full hybrid powertrain components include the gasoline engine, generator, power split device, electric motor, and the battery. Locate these components in Figure 2 as you read the following descriptions. The full hybrid vehicle includes:

  • Gasoline Engine (front left): provides most of the power, charges the battery through the motor.
  • Generator (next to engine): creates electricity from mechanical energy.
  • Power Split Device (between generator and electric motor): connects engine, generator and motor together; switches between gasoline engine power, electric motor power driving, and both combustion engine and electric motor power driving.
  • Electric Motor (on right side): assist the engine when needed, converts energy to electricity, charges the battery.
  • Battery (rear): stores energy, helps power car, may power car at low speeds.

Illustration of a full hybrid vehicle showing from, front left to right, the combustion engine, generator, power split device, electric motor and the battery in the rear.Figure 2. Full hybrid electric vehicle components.

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