September 9

Why Hybrids Make For Great Fuel Efficiency

Hyundai’s hybrid vehicles make for excellent fuel efficiency, offering impressive gas mileage estimates compared to their traditional gas-powered counterparts. How do they do it? The automaker’s innovative engineers incorporate various features beyond its electric-powered engines to produce some of the industry’s most efficient performers. If you’ve been wondering how this combination of power sources can save you hundreds at the pump, keep reading.

Innovative Drivetrain Technology

How Hybrids Have Great Fuel Efficiency

Hyundai Sonata Hybrid by Rutger van der Maar is licensed with CC BY 2.0

If you’re in the market for a new car, hybrid automobiles likely make your short list of must-test drives. These high-tech vehicles use both a gasoline engine and an electric motor. This setup excels in low-speed driving conditions, providing remarkable fuel efficiency ratings around town. Today’s congested, stop-and-go traffic is challenging for conventional gas-powered vehicles that perform better at highway speeds.

An electric motor gets your car rolling with minimum energy expenditure. Many modern commuters spend their time behind the wheel in these demanding driving conditions, but you can cut fuel usage — and costs — with these greener modes of transportation.

This dynamic duo of gas and electric power can even reduce fuel costs on your next road trip. The combination works together when accelerating, passing, and climbing hills, allowing Hyundai to use the smallest engines possible to power its lineup of nine electric, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and fuel cell vehicles. The high-tech powertrain produces some of the highest EPA ratings of any automaker. For example, the 2022 SONATA Hybrid sedan delivers up to 50 mpg in the city and 54 mpg on the highway.

Start-Stop Technology

You’ll love this innovation if fuel economy tops your new car checklist. Hybrids use automatic start-stop technology to help reduce gas consumption, minimizing fuel waste while idling when the vehicle comes to a stop. Press the accelerator, and the engine automatically restarts. You’ll find this feature on the 2022 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid, which earns an EPA estimated 38 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway with the introductory Blue trim.

Atkinson Cycle Engine

Outstanding auto manufacturer Hyundai also incorporates advances in gas-powered drivetrain technology with its Atkinson cycle engine. This motor squeezes more energy out of every drop of fuel, though it’s often less potent than a traditional engine. Some hybrids also feature driving modes that allow you to dial in settings for the best possible performance.

Continuously Variable Transmission

A continuously variable transmission (CVT) operates with a pair of pulleys connected by a belt rather than toothed gears. This type of transmission doesn’t require the engine to speed up and slow down as it shifts, making it easier for the car to maintain the desired speed when changing driving conditions. In addition, the CVT always runs at the optimum number of revolutions per minute, so you’ll enjoy ample horsepower to fuel your daily drive while burning less gas.

Lightweight Materials

Building materials also play a role in the hybrid’s outstanding fuel efficiency. Hyundai produces new vehicles made from lightweight materials, such as aluminum and carbon fiber composites. Thanks to their much smaller engines, the vehicles weigh hundreds of pounds less than ones made decades ago. These materials give hybrids an advantage in gas mileage because the heavier a car is, the more fuel it takes to move it, especially to get it rolling off the line. Lightweight hybrid vehicles don’t require as much energy, which translates to more savings at the pump.

Improved Aerodynamics

Every car is subject to the forces of wind resistance, including hybrids. These forces are particularly strong when traveling at high speeds. Hyundai designs its eco-friendly vehicles to cut through the air smoothly. Regardless of the model, each one touts an aerodynamic shape that reduces drag and conserves energy. This reduced fuel consumption directly results from a reduction in the structure of the front fascia, which comes into contact with headwinds. Of course, the more aerodynamic the car is, the less fuel it needs to maintain forward momentum.

Regenerative Braking

Hyundai launched the all-new Elantra Hybrid for the 2021 model year. This edgy compact sedan features an innovative regenerative braking system that recycles the car’s existing energy. This gas-saving process captures energy usually lost during braking. The brake pads press against the discs and create friction and kinetic energy. Rather than wasting this power, Hyundai’s regenerative braking system harnesses it so it can use the energy for other purposes. In the case of Hyundai’s hybrid cars, this system sends the converted energy back to the battery to power the vehicle and extend its gas-saving, all-electric range.

What does this mean for fuel efficiency? Regenerative braking improves forward performance when the car slows. This means the more you stop, the more often you can cruise past the fuel station due to increased braking frequency, especially in the city. In fact, the new 2023 Elantra Hybrid’s base trim earns 53 mpg in the city and 56 mpg on the highway with the help of its brakes.

Specifically Engineered Tires

Hybrid vehicles come equipped with tires made with lower rolling resistance materials. These tires are also narrower than traditional models to help these fuel-efficient cars reach their maximum ratings. These products are harder than their regular rubber counterparts, meaning they roll easily. They also tend to last longer, and their smoother, shallower tread depth means you can count on them to add to your hybrid’s fuel economy estimates.

Like other vehicles, a hybrid’s fuel efficiency depends on tire pressure. Properly inflated tires help achieve optimum efficiency. As tires can lose air, you should make checking the pressure part of your monthly routine maintenance program. Follow Hyundai’s recommendations as laid out in your owner’s manual and on the sticker inside the driver’s side door. You can measure your tire pressure with a gauge from any auto parts store. Inflating your tires to the recommended pressure will instantly improve your miles per gallon.

So, there you have it. Huffines Hyundai Plano put together this guide to better understand why hybrids are fuel-efficient. What’s your favorite thing about these eco-friendly vehicles? Let us know so we can share your ideas with other Texas drivers. Send us a message, and we’ll add your thoughts to our next guide.


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