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Does Car Engine Size Matter?

Does hybrid electric car engine size matter?

Hybrid Car Q&A with Hillside Auto Repair in Torrance

Q: Does car engine size matter?

A: According to, today's conventional vehicles are vastly overpowered.

A standard sedan typically has a 200 horsepower engine. Every once in a while, you'll use that power to pass someone on the highway. However, for the vast majority of driving we do, you're actually only using 30 to 40 horsepower. No kidding.

Here's a shocker: Because carmakers consistently used technology advances to make new vehicles more powerful over the years, cars averaged 14 mpg in 1923, the University of Michigan reports, and a measly 17.4 MPG as recently as 2008.

Instead, a hybrid uses a more appropriately sized gasoline engine, and supplements it with a high torque electric motor. The result is that the gasoline engine can run at a lower, more efficient speed, and let the electric motor help with the heavy lifting. You get increased efficiency from the conventional, gas engine - and better MPG.

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