Hybrid Cars

How well do hybrid cars drive in hilly areas?

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Wiki User
2014-07-26 09:38:53

Depends on the engine and the amount of electricity charged in

the battery before going up the hill. For long travel up hill, the

electric engine will eventually stop and only the fuel engine will

be pulling the car, therefore it may not be very powerful. Most

hybrid cars charge electricity (power) every time you brake, so

going up, you rarely brake and that is why you will run out of

electricity and therefore the hp is reduced considerably. The

battery never runs out, when it reaches a certain point the

gasoline charges the battery. Going downhill the battery will

recharge through regeneration (the wheels turn the electric motor

(which acts as a generator) and charges the battery) (free energy).

The small gasoline engine has about as much horse power as the

engines of the 1970's (around 100). The Pinto had about 90 horses

& got about 32 MPG, a Prius has 110 HP and gets about 50


Many of the new models of hybrid cars have a button that allows

you to tell the car's computer if you want it to operate for best

fuel efficiency or best performance. Selecting best performance my

Honda Insight has no trouble climbing over mountain passes, however

going back downhill on the far side the regenerative braking still

runs out when the battery is again fully charged and unless I use

the paddle shifters (which not all hybrid cars have) to force a

downshift, the car has no compression braking as an ordinary car


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