Hybrid Vehicle Guide and Alternative Fuel Vehicles

A Guide to Hybrid Vehicles – Alternative Fuel Vehicles

The word hybrid is defined as two things that are mixed together. This normally refers to animals or plants that are bred from two different parents. There is a new type of vehicle that is on the road; the hybrid. These cars are called hybrids because it is a mix between an electric car and a gasoline car. These cars use engines that run on electricity until they run out of power or reach a certain speed then they start to use gasoline. They are becoming very popular and are helping our economy greatly.

One of the more popular hybrids is the Honda Insight. This vehicle gets up to 68 miles per gallon on the highway and it uses a ridiculously small 1.0 liter, 3 cylinder engine, with an astonishingly thin electric motor.

Most of the power that comes from these cars is put out with the gasoline motor. The electric motor powers the car when it is accelerating or climbing hills. This is because these are the worst times for a gasoline engine to work because you get terrible mileage when doing these things. The electric engine is not powered with an external supply. Instead, it is recharge through a process called “regenerative braking.” This means that energy from the momentum of the car is caught during braking and used to recharge the batteries.

Honda also has another hybrid vehicle; the civic. The Civic sedan is available as a hybrid which tops at an amazing 51 miles per gallon on the highway compared to the non-hybrid model that gets 39 miles per gallon. This may not seem like a big increase, but that means you are getting almost 130 more miles per tank of gas. This can add up very quickly.

Another very technologically advanced vehicle is the Toyota Prius. This roomy sedan gets 52 miles to the gallon. This car also has a very small gas engine partnered up with an electric motor. At slow speeds the car is powered with the electric motor. Around the city and when driving at freeway speeds the gasoline motor is activated. This is to allow for recharging of the battery.

There are many more hybrid vehicles that will be coming out in the near future. Ford has created the Escape Sport Utility Vehicle which is hybrid-electric. The vehicle uses an electric motor around town and a gasoline engine when moving quickly. Also, the gas engine is shut off when the car is stopped in a traffic jam or at a stop light.

The only problem with hybrids is that they are more expensive. It is hard to justify spending four or five thousand more dollars on a car that you might not drive enough to save that kind of money on gas. The gasoline-powered Escape gets around 23 miles per gallon and the hybrid gets nearly 40 miles to the gallon. But in order to get these extra miles to the gallon you must spend around $3,000 more dollars. The Government is working to decrease this extra cost by offering incentives to buyers.

Posted: May 11th, 2009
at 3:54pm by Fuel Saver

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