Hybrid cars are a hot topic lately, especially as the demand for electric cars grows and more nations are pushing to go full electric in the next few years, with the EU looking to ban petrol and diesel sales by 2035. That means major shifts are going to be coming to the automotive industry when it comes to powertrains in cars.
More and more we are seeing companies swap to hybrid power as they start to transition away from the classic combustion engine towards more electric and 0-emission friendly methods of getting you from point a to point b. From the Honda EV economy car movement to companies like McLaren adding power through hybrid technology, the future of Hybrid cars seems bright right now, but will that stay true in the next 10 years? Only time will tell.
For now, we should look at the ways companies are using hybrid technology to see if there is any way it could stick around as the electric car industry continues to grab hold in the automotive industry.
McLaren’s Hybrid Power
When it comes to putting hybrid to work for the thrill of racing, no one is doing it better than McLaren right now. With cars like the P1, McLaren has found a way to put electric motors to work for a better racing experience. Since electric motors experience instantaneous torque, McLaren though hybrid motors would be a great way to get their car from 0-60 faster, and boy were they right. With a 0-60 mph time of just 2.5 seconds, the electric motors supplement the existing combustion engine to push the limits of speed.
By adding electric motors to the wheels of the car, McLaren was able to make a special driver assist system to help you keep going where you want to go, instead of barrelling off the track. This clever system uses the electric motors on the car to add or take away power on the wheels that are losing grip. This incredible system is one of the ways automakers should looks to improve safety systems on cars. On top of this, McLaren was very clever in their ways to keep the motors charged. The P1 keeps it’s motors charged by converting the heat and friction produced by braking into additional energy for the electric motors on the wheels. This helps keep the system healthy, while making sure you never run out of the electric punch this gas powered monster provides.
Economy cars are starting to see hybrid technology trickle down into every model of a company’s lineup. From family sedans to economy cars, hybrid technology is being introduced as a way to lower vehicle emissions while maintaining the joy of performance in a car. Even the little cars like the Honda Jazz are starting to have these technologies put into them for the everyday driver. The new Jazz sports an electric motor support system that has a purpose similar to the P1’s. Although you won’t be going 0-60mph in 2.5 seconds, the feeling on the electric motors on the acceleration of the Jazz mean you can jump off the line and pass people on the motorway with ease while still maintaining great gas mileage. Even Honda states that the electric motors are to help the driver have a better feel and connection with the car, and it’s achieved through the same principles of energy fluctuation.
The Future of Hybrid Technology
So, where does hybrid technology go from here? Well you can expect a big boom in the next coming years as the push for 0-emissions becomes a reality. So will the hybrid engine die when 0-emissions is actually here? Probably, but there is hope that the hybrid drivetrain if we see platforms like hydrogen fuel cell vehicles actually hit the mainstream public.
On top of this, many super car manufacturers are pushing for an emissions exception for their craft. As they don’t produce a lot of cars per year, hybrid and gas emissions from super car manufacturers wouldn’t eat into over numbers, and if they did, their overall impact would be minuscule compared to what we have today with just about every car on the road causing issues for emissions. So, it’s possible that lawmakers could meet the automotive legends half way, and force them to at least use a hybrid system to keep vehicle emissions as low as possible for the supercar industry without killing the feeling of the combustion engine to its core.