Web Quest
   Introduction
   Task
   Resources
   Time
   Process
   Conclusion
   Teacher Page
   Select WebQuest


Science Glencoe Online
Science Home Product Information Site Map Search Contact Us  

An Internet WebQuest

HYBRID VEHICLES

Introduction

You probably know that emissions of gases from automobiles are responsible for up to 80 percent of the air pollution in large cities. Many communities have passed laws that require automobile manufacturers to reduce emissions to help combat air pollution. One way to reduce emissions is to burn less gasoline per mile traveled. Some of the more efficient vehicles available today can travel 40 to 45 miles per gallon of gasoline. Another way to reduce emissions is to use alternative fuels. Research on alternative fuels that produce less air pollution is already underway. Automobile manufacturers also are researching electric vehicles, which do not produce any emissions. However, all-electric vehicles are not yet practical for long-distance use. Most electric vehicles are powered by batteries, and can only go 80 miles or so before the batteries need to be recharged. Recharging takes up to 8 hours.

Recently, several automobile manufacturers have introduced vehicles known as hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs). These vehicles can travel up to 70 miles per gallon of gasoline, and they produce one-half the emissions of a standard vehicle. What are hybrid electric vehicles? How do they work? How do they help reduce air pollution? In this WebQuest, you will explore the topic of hybrid electric vehicles and find the answers to these questions.

Top

Task

Your job in this WebQuest is to discover what hybrid electric vehicles are, and find out how these vehicles work. You will explore the reasons that automobile manufacturers are producing these vehicles, and how these vehicles can help reduce air pollution. You will learn about the types of hybrid vehicles, and how each type works. You will also find out the advantages and disadvantages of each type of hybrid electric vehicle. Finally, you will answer a set of questions about hybrid electric vehicles to demonstrate what you have learned.

Top

Resources

Look at the web sites given here to find the information that will enable you to answer questions about hybrid electric vehicles.

  • How Hybrid Cars Work.
    Go to this site to learn all about hybrid cars. You can find out the difference between series and parallel configurations here, and see graphics that show how a hybrid electric vehicle compares to a conventional internal combustion engine and to an all-electric vehicle. Spend some time at this site; it is very interesting.
  • How do Hybrid Electric Vehicles Work?
    Visit this U.S. Department of Energy site to find a brief discussion of how hybrid electric vehicles work. The site provides links to the automobile manufacturers that now produce two of these vehicles.

Top

Time

1 class period for Internet research and answering the set of questions

Top

Process

Read through the following set of questions before you begin your Internet research. As you explore each site, look for answers to the questions.

Questions about Hybrid Electric Vehicles

  1. What is a hybrid electric vehicle?

  2. What are the advantages of HEVs as compared to conventional vehicles?

  3. By what percentage can a HEV reduce emissions as compared to a conventional vehicle?

  4. What are the components of a hybrid electric vehicle?

  5. Name three types of energy storage systems in HEVs.

  6. Name three types of power units in HEVs.

  7. Name two types of propulsion in HEVs.

  8. Describe the series configuration in HEVs. Under what circumstances should a HEV with series configuration be used?

  9. Describe the parallel configuration in HEVs. Under what circumstances should a HEV with parallel configuration be used?

  10. What type of configuration is used in the HEVs available in the U.S. today?

Top

Conclusion

In the process of completing this WebQuest, you’ve become informed about hybrid electric vehicles. You have learned about the advantages of a hybrid electric vehicle as compared to a conventional vehicle, and by what amount HEVs can reduce emissions that result in air pollution. You have learned more about how HEVs work, and about the different types of HEVs. You have developed research skills as you explored the web sites given and identified the relevant information to answer the set of questions above. Would you recommend that people purchase hybrid electric vehicles?

Top

 

 
The McGraw-Hill 

Companies