Hybrid electric vehicles combine the internal combustion engine and fuel tank of a conventional vehicle with an electric motor powered by a battery.
The combination gives motorists the driving range and convenient refueling capabilities of a conventional vehicle, with more environmental benefits.
Hybrids achieve improvements in fuel efficiency by using an electric motor to supplement engine power. Many hybrids can even operate at low speeds using only the electric motor.
Their batteries never need to be plugged in and are recharged by a combination of the internal combustion engine and by capturing energy that would otherwise be lost when braking.
Many hybrids also shut off the internal combustion engine when the vehicle is stopped or waiting at an intersection to eliminate wasting fuel from idling.
So if most of your driving is around the city, your fuel consumption and costs with a hybrid could be a fraction of what you are now paying.
Many auto manufacturers in North America now offer hybrid models. Furthermore, as the market expands, the cost differential between hybrids and conventional vehicles is declining.
You can get more information about hybrids and other fuel-efficient vehicles at www.vehicles.nrcan. gc.ca.