Reply to post:

Cambridge boffins and Boeing fly first hybrid airplane over British skies

Chemist

"A small internal combustion engine, sized for the cruise regime, can be quite efficient,"

Indeed in most petrol/hybrid cars a modified Atkinson cycle engine is used that has a higher fuel efficiency than normal (Otto) engines at the expense of lower output for a given engine size. The battery then provides the extra power required for acceleration/hill climb. Regenerative braking is a bonus for urban use or descents.

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