Electric vehicles that you can buy are a relatively new product on the market. Hybrid cars that combine a conventional petrol or diesel engine with an electric motor have been around for a long time.
Gasoline-electric cars like the Toyota Prius or the new RAV4 hybrid aren’t technically electric cars because they can’t be plugged in and charged from an external source. They have very low-capacity batteries, and the electric motor is designed to help a conventional engine, rather than drive the car yourself.
Hybrids (HEV) charge their batteries, restoring energy that is usually lost during braking and deceleration, and sometimes directly from a gasoline engine. Continue reading