Jump to this Animation »
How Hybrids Work

U.S. Department of Energy/Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

This animation describes how hybrid-electric vehicles (HEVs) combine the benefits of gasoline engines and electric motors and can be configured to obtain different objectives, such as improved fuel economy, increased power, or additional auxiliary power for electronic devices and power tools.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • Use in conjunction with other features on the fuel economy page to provide greater depth and other research opportunities for students.
  • Must click through as Flash version has been removed.

About the Science

  • Interactive text-based animation shows how the different components of a hybrid vehicle work during different stages of automobile functioning: starting, cruising, passing, breaking, and stopping.
  • Developed by a reputable source: US Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Technology is accurate.
  • Comments from expert scientist: Excellent. The description is both precise and concise. It captures the essence of this remarkable technology. One useful addition is that, because hybrid uses the electric motor to carry most of the burden of acceleration, it allows the engine to minimize the task of acceleration, where engine efficiency tends to be low and pollutant emissions tend to be high. Consequently, not only the fuel efficiency improves, the pollutant emissions also decline significantly.

About the Pedagogy

  • Students can develop an understanding of the basic design and function of a hybrid vehicle. The text-based and go-at-your-own-pace design of interactive allows students to progress at different rates. No teacher support materials are provided.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Excellent visual quality.

Jump to this Animation »