sipabit wrote:It also may take a moment. Sometimes it takes a couple minutes for it to actually react. Other times, it's instant. What I don't know though is that if you run out of gas, whether it will switch back to electricity on its own. Would be good to know before needing it on the road.
Just for clarification...there are two ways to make a hybrid and they are called either serial or parallel.
A serial hybrid is like a diesel electric locomotive and the i3 REx. They both have engines, but those engines drive a generator...the ONLY thing that drives the actual wheels is the electric motor...the engine drives a generator whose output can either go directly to the electric motors or, if there's excess power available, into the batteries. A special note, though, the engine-driven generator of the REx is only around a 34Hp motor...the i3's electric motor is a 170Hp device. If you think about it, there's no way the REx can provide 170Hp, so under heavy load, you WILL also be using battery power. The way this works, though, is normal cruising doesn't need 170Hp, but, the faster you go, the bigger the hill you want to climb, the more lights you want to run, or the harder you make the HVAC system work, you'll not be able to maintain battery levels. Lots of things go into this, but on flat ground, if you're traveling faster than somewhere around 70mph...your SOC will decrease, even with the REx pumping out as much power as it can. Start to go uphill, it will decrease faster. Slow down, and you might be able to recharge the battery.
A parallel hybrid is one where either the electric motor, or engine, or both drive the wheels of the vehicle. In this type, you could run on only electricity, only gasoline (through the engine), or with both. They type of hybrid will typically have a much smaller battery than a full EV or a serial hybrid.
There's actually a third type that we'll see more of in the next year or so called mild hybrid. These tend to switch many ancillary devices in the vehicle to electrical operation - steering (fairly common now), compressor, water pump, and probably more. To achieve better optimization, they will switch from 12vdc stuff to 48vdc...you can use smaller wires to get the same power when you raise the voltage (think power = volts * amps...raise volts, you can lower amps and use smaller wires, while providing the same power to a device. Smaller wires, less weight, which can help, too. Taking more of the parasitic loads off of the engine means start/stop becomes more efficient as well while maintaining creature comforts fully.