After the standard internal combustion engine (ICE) came the hybrids, in two distinct flavors. The first one to hit the scene was the hybrid, also called an HEV – Hybrid Electric Vehicle. Though it still relies largely on gasoline power, it pairs the engine with an electric motor and a small battery pack. This supplements the engine to improve performance and efficiency, resulting in better fuel economy.The hybrid motor is usually housed within the gearbox assembly, and the battery pack isn’t large enough for the car to drive on electric power for more than a mile or two. Instead, how hybrid engines work is that the electric motor serves as an assistant to the ICE, which means it doesn’t have to work as hard. Instead of just one standard power output, you get a combined power output. That’s the total power produced by the ICE and electric motor working together. The Toyota Prius is the most famous example of a standard hybrid car, though the list of the best hybrid cars has since expanded.The plug-in hybrid is similarly configured. It gets an ICE engine, with everything that entails – pistons, crankshaft, and all – but it also gets an electric motor and battery pack. However, the batteries are usually a lot bigger and last longer. Instead of simply bolstering the engine, this setup can power the car completely on its own.Both are eco-friendly options, and advances in hybrid technology have helped to overcome some of the challenges faced by early hybrids, such as lower cargo capacity and higher maintenance costs.