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Answered 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 MPG.

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 does.

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