The first mass-produced hybrid vehicle hit the streets in the United States in 1999. Now, just about every manufacturer has at least one hybrid model in their lineup. That may leave you asking: What is a hybrid car?

Our team at St. Charles Hyundai has the answer for drivers near St. Charles, St. Louis, O'Fallon, and St. Peters, MO. We've created this guide for hybrid vehicles, so you can see what they're all about! Let's get started.

Hybrid Cars: What are They and How do They Work?

Hybrid is generally defined as something that is a combination of two things. In the case of a hybrid car, that combination involves at least one electric motor and a gas-powered engine. Most hybrids can be powered in one of three ways. They include:

  • By the electric motor
  • By the gas engine
  • Both at the same time

A parallel hybrid is the most common type of hybrid vehicle. The electric motor and gasoline engine are connected by a shared transmission that blends the two sources. It can be an automatic, a manual, or a continuously variable transmission (CVT). In traditional parallel hybrids, the battery pack is recharged through features like regenerative braking.

What is a plug-in hybrid? It's like a parallel hybrid but with a much larger battery pack that requires full recharging from an external power source. This larger battery pack allows for longer all-electric driving and a longer combined range when utilizing both gas and electric power.

Hybrid Car vs Electric Vehicle

The biggest difference between a hybrid car and an electric vehicle (EV) is the elimination of the traditional internal combustion engine. Electric vehicles run solely off electricity provided by a large battery pack, which is funneled through the electric motor.

There are select EVs that come with a small gas-powered generator, like an internal combustion engine, but it's not connected to the driveline in any way. Its only purpose is to recharge the battery when the power starts running low while you're out on the road.

If you're looking for a vehicle that cuts down on the maintenance costs of a traditional engine, an EV may be the way to go. Routine services like oil changes will be a thing of the past. The electric motor also provides smoother performance and more instant power.

What are the Best Hybrid Cars?

There are so many great choices out there if you're looking for a hybrid. If a hybrid Hyundai is at the top of your list, there are several models available with a hybrid powertrain. They include:

The Sonata was one of the first Hyundai vehicles to offer a hybrid option. It offers an EPA-estimated 50 city and 54 highway MPG.1 It will also put plenty of pep in your step with a combined system horsepower of 192. You'll end up taking a road trip every weekend with that kind of performance.

If you need a more spacious ride, a hybrid SUV could be a better fit. The Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid has a total interior volume of over 145 cubic feet, so there will be room for your family and all their belongings. It also achieves an EPA-estimated 36 city and 31 highway MPG with the added capability of all-wheel drive.2

Learn More About Hybrid Cars Today!

Now that you know more about how hybrid cars work, you can decide if it's time to hit the roads of St. Charles, St. Louis, O'Fallon, and St. Peters, Missouri, in one of your own. You can see your favorites up close and experience them firsthand right here at St. Charles Hyundai.

Contact us today to learn more!



1 2023 SONATA Hybrid Blue: 50 City/54 Hwy/52 Combined. 2023 SONATA Hybrid SEL/Limited: 45 City/51 Hwy/47 Combined. All figures are EPA estimates and for comparison purposes only. Actual mileage will vary with options, driving conditions and habits, vehicle and battery's condition and other factors.


2 2023 SANTA FE Hybrid Blue: HTRAC AWD 36 City/31 Hwy/34 Combined MPG. 2023 SANTA FE Hybrid SEL Premium/Limited: HTRAC AWD 33 City/30 Hwy/32 Combined MPG. All figures are EPA estimates and for comparison purposes only. Actual mileage may vary with options, driving conditions, driving habits and vehicle's condition.


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St. Charles Hyundai

5701 Veterans Memorial Pkwy
Directions Saint Peters, MO 63376

  • Sales: (636) 441-4481
  • Service: 636-441-4481
  • Parts: 636-441-4481


  • Monday 9:00AM - 9:00PM
  • Tuesday 9:00AM - 6:00PM
  • Wednesday 9:00AM - 9:00PM
  • Thursday 9:00AM - 6:00PM
  • Friday 9:00AM - 9:00PM
  • Saturday 9:00AM - 6:00PM
  • Sunday Closed