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Parallel, Series and Plug-In are the most common types of Hybrids:

Parallel Hybrid

The engine and electric motor generate the power that drives the wheels in a Parallel Hybrid. Gasoline powers the engine, while at the same time, batteries supply power to an electric motor. The addition of computer controls and a transmission allow these components to work simultaneously. Parallel Hybrids can use a smaller battery and therefore rely mainly on regenerative braking for recharging. These Hybrids also utilize the drive motor as a generator for supplemental recharging, much like an alternator in conventional cars. The Honda Civic and Toyota Prius are examples of Parallel Hybrids.

Series Hybrid

The electric motor is the only means of generating power that drives the wheels in a Series Hybrid. The motor receives electric power from either the battery pack or from a generator run by a gasoline engine. A computer determines how much of the power comes from the battery or the engine/generator. Both the engine/generator and regenerative braking recharge the battery. The engine is typically smaller in a Series Hybrid because it does not need to meet rigorous driving power demands. This larger battery and electric motor, along with the generator, add to the cost, making Series Hybrids more expensive than Parallel Hybrids.

Plug-In Hybrid

A Plug-in Hybrid has batteries that are recharged by connecting a plug to an electric power source. These Hybrids have an electric motor that runs on rechargeable batteries as well as a downsized internal combustion engine for use when the batteries are exhausted.