When you’re doing a lot of stopping and starting while you drive, as is common in city driving, you might notice that your gas mileage isn’t as efficient. Accelerating eats into our fuel consumption, making it costlier and increasing carbon emissions in gas cars. So, you’ve probably noticed that you get better gas mileage when driving on the highway compared to in the city.
Unless you drive a hybrid, that is.
Hybrid cars definitely beat gas cars when it comes to city gas mileage, but some hybrid cars even get better mileage in the city than they do on the highway. The main reason behind this is regenerative braking.
What is regenerative braking?
To answer this question, let’s first look at how brakes slow down or stop a car. A braking system has to get rid of the kinetic energy that the car produces when it moves. Getting rid of this kinetic energy slows the car down gradually. With a traditional braking system, this kinetic energy is converted into heat, which is why braking too heavily or too often can cause your brakes to overheat. Basically, the energy is wasted.
With a regenerative braking system, the kinetic energy is put to good use. The car’s motor takes the kinetic energy and converts it into electricity that can be used by the vehicle’s battery pack. The energy isn’t wasted and is even used to increase the battery life of the car’s electric motor. This improves fuel efficiency because the car can go for longer without relying on the gas engine.
So, when you’re doing a lot of stopping and starting in the city or in a line of traffic, your hybrid car’s regenerative brakes are working to power its own battery. Both hybrid cars and electric cars tend to be equipped with regenerative brakes as well as traditional friction brakes as a back-up.
So, if you’re going to be doing a lot of city driving and not a lot of highway driving, opting for a hybrid or electric car is certainly the most energy efficient way to go. Keeping your vehicle well maintained is another way to maintain its fuel efficiency, so make sure you get hybrid car repair whenever you need it.
If you need hybrid repair in North Carolina, then Bill’s Auto Clinic can assist you. We’re based in Winston Salem but also serve customers around the surrounding Piedmont Triad. Get in touch whenever you need support with your hybrid.