Combining industry leading fuel efficiency with minimal environmental impact makes hybrid and electric cars a dream come true for eco-minded motorists. One of the most widely available electric vehicles on the market is the Nissan Leaf. Taking the form of an economy car with a price tag that is fairly competitive with gasoline vehicles, Nissan’s Leaf has become one of the most produced and purchased electric cars to date. With vehicles like the Tesla Model S, BMW i8 as well as the upcoming Audi R8 e-tron, today's electric cars are also poised to establish a sizeable claim in the luxury market.
Hybrid powertrains are available in several forms designed to minimize fuel consumption of an internal combustion engine. Mild hybrid technology found in i-ELOOP equipped Mazda vehicles and Buicks fitted with eAssist use electrical energy to reduce load on the gasoline engine but do not provide direct power to the wheels. The most common hybrid powertrain setups combine both electric and gasoline fuel sources, when and how each fuel source should be used is governed by complex, onboard programs. The Plug-in hybrid is a new approach to hybrid powertrains that primarily relies on an electric motor for short distance driving. They essentially function as an electric car until the battery charge is exhausted. Beyond the electric range, a gasoline range extender generates electrical power to propel the plug-in hybrid. The Chevrolet Volt, Ford Fusion Energi and the 2016 BMW X5 xDrive40e are examples of these modern plug-in hybrids.
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