Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Andrew from AL. Andrew Wonders, “What is a hybrid car?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Andrew!

Wonder Friends have already experienced the musical side of Motown. Today, it's time to take a look at the automotive side!

By now, you've probably heard about hybrid cars. They've been around for several years, and their popularity continues to grow. You may even have one in your family or know someone who drives a hybrid.

But what exactly is a hybrid? Regular cars have only engines powered by gasoline. Hybrid cars, on the other hand, can be powered by both a gasoline engine and an electric battery.

Why would automobile makers create cars that also run on electric batteries? The electric batteries in hybrid cars allow these cars to use gasoline more efficiently. At low speeds, hybrid cars can run on just the electric battery. This reduces the amount of gasoline the car uses.

At higher speeds, the gasoline engine kicks in to provide more power. When the gasoline engine runs, the electric battery recharges. That way it will have plenty of power again later when it's needed.

As technology improves, automobile makers are constantly improving their hybrid car systems. Today, there are several different types of hybrid cars available. There are small differences in the way they work, but the basic idea remains the same: use an electric battery to improve the gas mileage you get from the gasoline-powered engine.

The next wave of hybrid cars are expected to be plug-in hybrid cars that can run solely on either electric or gasoline power. To charge these cars, owners will need to plug them into a power source to recharge the electric batteries when they get low on power.

In addition to getting great gas mileage, hybrid cars are also good for the environment. Since some of their power is produced by electric batteries, hybrid cars emit fewer fumes (pollution) than regular gasoline-powered cars.

However, before you think about buying a hybrid car, you will also need to take their price into account. Most hybrid cars are several thousand dollars more expensive than their “regular" car counterparts. This means that much of the money you save on gasoline will be spent upfront by paying more for the car at the beginning.

Despite their higher cost, though, hybrids are attractive to many people because of their beneficial impact on the environment. Just be sure to do your research before you set your sights on a hybrid car. It's always good to consider both the pros and the cons when making any major decision!

Wonder What's Next?

Have you ever seen a rabbit with glasses? Find out why not in tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day!