Hybrids are strange living things.

The offspring of two different species can combine the beneficial properties of their parents, the most famous representative is probably the mule - strong as a horse and tough as a donkey, but there are also mixtures such as those of tiger and lion, the meaning of which is not accessible.

In agriculture, they help to increase the yield.

The disadvantage: sometimes the undesirable traits are combined and, as a rule, hybrids cannot reproduce.

Boris Schmidt

Editor in the “Technology and Engine” section.

  • Follow I follow

    Lukas Weber

    Editor in the “Technology and Engine” section.

    • Follow I follow

      The lack of fertility pleases the suppliers of plant seeds, but should not play a decisive role for the automotive hybrids. The combination of electric and combustion engine is popular with buyers, also because of the state subsidies for certain models, and at the same time has been heavily criticized. These are those that are charged at the socket like pure electric cars and can drive a minimum of 40 kilometers electrically according to the standard, which is why they benefit from state subsidies. Their sales figures in Germany now exceed those of all-electric cars, although the subsidy is lower.

      The abbreviation for such a hybrid is PHEV, it stands for Plug-in-Hybrid Electric Vehicle. The technical concepts are of course different. The internal combustion engine (or a fuel cell, see article below) can only serve as a power generator to extend the range (serial hybrid), a rather rare combination. It can be found in the Honda Jazz or the new Honda HR-V, for example. Or the drive systems support each other, the motors then run in parallel.

      A simple solution is the direct drive of the rear axle via an electric motor, so a front-wheel drive can easily be turned into an all-wheel drive. Or it supports the combustion engine and runs through the gears of the automatic transmission with it. Mitsubishi chose its own way for the Outlander, whose gasoline engine works as a generator and switches directly to the front axle to the electric motor via a clutch without a gearbox at higher speeds.

      Modern PHEVs create the minimum distance for funding when buying, but some of them only with woe and noise and on paper.

      The 3 Series BMW, for example, moves cautiously, actually about 60 kilometers, the Toyota RAV4 reaches almost 70. Audi announces that the upcoming PHEVs will cover 80 kilometers electrically, the new S-Class from Mercedes-Benz should cover up to 100 kilometers create under ideal conditions.

      More than a hundred different plug-in vehicles are now on offer in Germany.

      This number has increased significantly in the past few months.

      This is also a strength of the German manufacturers, there are sedans, station wagons and, above all, SUVs.

      The PHEV technology is only offered from the compact class upwards, the best-known representative is perhaps the VW Golf GTE.

      Mercedes-Benz offers a particularly large variety of plug-in hybrids. And as already mentioned, the new S-Class is the model with what is currently the greatest electric range. Porsche is also investing a lot in PHEV vehicles; in addition to the all-electric Taycan, the Panamera and Cayenne are available as hybrids; Porsche recently obliged all managers to choose the company car from this trio. There are worse compulsions. What does not exist are small cars, the technology is too expensive for that. You will also look in vain for convertibles or other special forms.