Regular hybrids recharge their batteries by reclaiming energy through a process called regenerative braking and/or while driving on engine power. Regular hybrids do not need to be plugged in. When the battery is heavily taxed by a lot of electric motor usage without a lot of braking, the internal combustion engine picks up the slack while the battery comes back up to charge.
In order to increase electric motor cruising time, some manufacturers are creating plug-in hybrids that have more powerful batteries which can be recharged by “plugging in” the vehicle to normal household current. This feature allows the vehicle to perform more like a true electric car and less like a conventional gasoline car, all the while delivering exceptional fuel mileage.
More Hybrid Information:
Why is electricity an alt fuel? How exactly do mild, full and plug-in hybrids work? Plus FAQs about hybrids.
Hybrid Buying Guide
Check out the photos and test drives of current hybrid models, plus the lowdown on up-and-coming models.
Hybrid Maintenance and Safety Issues
Get the scoop on hybrid maintenance: from routine maintenance and professional repairs to safety issues and “beware the orange.”
Hybrid Tax Credits & Rebates
They go hand-in-hand: reduce your taxes and greenhouse gas contribution when you buy a hybrid vehicle.
Learn More at Hybrid CentralMore Frequently Asked Questions about Hybrid Vehicles