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Hybrid vs. Regular Car

Q: What is the difference between a hybrid car and a regular car?

A: The main difference is the source of power. Most conventional cars run only on fossil fuels (e.g., gasoline or diesel). Hybrid cars have two sources of power – a fossil fuel such as gasoline and electricity from batteries. Conveniently, hybrid cars do not need to be plugged in. While driving, the batteries are charged as needed by generators or through regenerative braking. Regenerative braking uses the same electric motors that propel the car to also slow it down. When braking, the electric motors act like generators and convert energy of motion (kinetic energy) to electric energy to help slow down the car. This action makes hybrid cars much more energy efficient than conventional cars because they reduce the amount of energy wasted. Some gasoline engines in hybrids also shut down at stoplights or in stop and go traffic to conserve energy.