What does it mean to call a vehicle a hybrid?

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What does it mean to call a vehicle a hybrid?


A hybrid car is powered by an internal combustion engine and one or more electric motors. Hybrid cars are known not only for higher fuel efficiency but also lower emissions.

Toyota’s Prius and Honda’s Insight are the most well-known hybrids. Totoya succeeded in commercially manufacturing hybrid cars for the first time in 1997.

A hybrid uses energy wasted during deceleration, turning it into electricity and storing it in a battery. Then it uses the electricity to run a complimentary electric motor, which increases energy efficiency.

Another type of hybrid vehicle is the plug-in hybrid electrical vehicle (PHEV). It is similar to the early hybrids but its batteries can be recharged by being plugged into an electricity source.

Hybrid vehicles are equipped with lithium-ion batteries, which Korea excels in producing. The current leader in the local EV battery sector is LG Chem, which recently completed the construction of the world’s largest lithium-ion battery plant in Ochang, North Chungcheong.

Samsung SDI, the world’s second largest maker of rechargeable batteries, formed a 50/50 joint venture with Bosch, the world’s leading automobile components supplier, in June 2008 to create SB LiMotive.

Another Korean company, SK Innovation, started EV battery research in 2005, when it developed the lithium-ion battery separator.

Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors launched the Avante LPI and Forte LPI respectively in 2009. These vehicles were powered by both electric motors and internal combustion engines using liquefied petroleum gas.

By Limb Jae-un [jbiz91@joongang.co.kr]

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