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Hybrid and Electric Terminology

To simplify complex technology, automakers and engineers use a variety of specialized terminology and acronyms when discussing today’s environmentally-friendly vehicles.

Regenerative Braking — while braking, a vehicle loses all or most of the forward motion (kinetic energy) that has been created during acceleration. To capture as much of this lost energy as possible, hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) utilize regenerative braking to convert this kinetic energy into electricity. The process, which uses the vehicle’s electric motor as a generator to push electricity back into the storage battery, is completely automatic. As an added benefit, with less energy being converted directly into frictional heat in the vehicle’s brakes (as it is with conventional vehicles), there is less wear on brake pads and other braking components.

Start-Stop Technology — to reduce fuel consumption and vehicle emissions, start-stop technology electronically shuts down an internal combustion engine (ICE) while a vehicle is stopped. Completely automatic in operation, vehicle accessories (e.g., headlights, air conditioning, and audio system) and safety systems remain powered by the battery while the engine is off. When the driver lifts their foot of the brake pedal, the engine restarts immediately to reduce any unnecessary delay in the engine’s operation.

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