Electric and Hybrid Vehicles Explained

car-volt.jpgAs fuel costs continue to rise, and environmental impacts become apparent, environmental concerns surrounding normal gas vehicles have brought about a need for vehicles which can save on fuel costs while simultaneously being a little friendlier to the environment.  Hybrid cars have begun to enjoy mainstream success in an attempt to fill this need, as sales for it continue to increase over time.  The definition for a hybrid vehicle is something that can be traced back as many as thousands of years ago, even back to the ancient sea vessels which made use both of wind power and rowing power to operate.  The term is meant to refer to any vehicle which operates based on the combination of two or more different types of power, and these power sources can include gas, natural gas, wind, electricity, vegetable oil, bio-fuel, ethanol and fuel cells.

How do Hybrid Cars Work?  – There are many different types of hybrid vehicles, each with a different mechanism for power.  One of the most popular hybrids on the road today is the Prius which is a product of the Toyota Motor Corporation.  The Prius is a hybrid vehicle as it operates through the use of a combination between gas and electricity.  Under the hood you will find both a regular internal combustion or gas engine and an electric motor as well.  These power systems are connected to one another and then to the vehicle through the transmission.  The vehicle uses a battery for power storage, and this battery can be used for powering the vehicle’s accessories including climate control and air conditioning.  Both of these engines work in parallel, meaning that one or the other or both can completely power the vehicle at the exact same time.

The Cost of Hybrid Cars – Hybrid vehicles tend to cost more upfront than if you were purchasing a normal vehicle, depending on what options are selected at the time of purchase.  You will find that a conventional vehicle will typically cost at least several thousands of dollars less, but over the long run you will save enough money in fuel costs that it will make the hybrid car a much better bargain.

Advantages – One of the greatest benefits of a hybrid car is the obvious cost advantage.  You may not see the savings right away, but they are there.  Environmentally speaking, hybrid cars are sound to drive, as they take far less gas, and put out far less pollution.  Modern hybrid vehicles are beginning to look sporty and incredibly elegant.  You will even find hybrid SUVs available, which are extremely cost effective compared to their non-hybrid predecessors.  Appearance may have been a concern with hybrid vehicles of the past, but they are no longer an issue.

What’s next for Hybrids?  – The future for hybrid vehicles is relatively uncertain at this point, because there are so many alternatives already in the pipeline, including completely electric cars, fuel cells and bio-fuels like ethanol.  Hybrids are being forced even further to evolve in order to keep their lead in the energy-efficient vehicle industry.

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