Motivations for saving fuel and going green are serious now than ever before, and this is where the hybrid gets a leg-up.
The term ‘Hybrid’ ‘ seems to be the ever-present argot used while referring to motor vehicles and fuel consumption. Hybrid vehicles, also known as electric cars were invented to mitigate the heavy reliance on petroleum to run motor vehicles that led to increased carbon emissions to the stratosphere which in turn, caused global warming.
The adverse effects of these carbon emissions are more apparent in densely populated cities of industrialized nations as compared to the global south. During the global energy crisis, consumers battled with incredible gas prices rising to up to $100 per gallon. Soaring gas prices prompted many car owners to result to public transportation, carpooling, cycling and even walking from point A to B.
Governments and organizations around the world have drafted and implemented laws to curb carbon footprint hence calling upon car manufacturers to make fuel-efficient cars with low emissions. Some countries like France went to greater lengths by assigning ‘driving days’ in accordance to odd and even number plates. This intervention reduced congestion in the city significantly, as well as levels of carbon emissions leading to less smog.
Hybrid vehicles have dual engines in the form or electric and diesel-powered engines. Some cars rely on electricity and petroleum while others rely on electricity and diesel. A few years ago, hybrid cars were the reserve of the environmentally conscious lot and people with vast resources that allowed them to buy green vehicles.
Thankfully, the price of hybrid vehicles has declined with some green cars costing nearly the same as their petroleum dependent counterparts. Support from the government has boosted the demand for hybrid cars by offering subsidies to consumers willing to make the switch.
As car manufacturers like Toyota continue to make newer and more affordable generations of hybrids with high-tech features like door speakers for better sound quality to woo consumers. These efforts are bearing fruit as more people are gradually embracing hybrids as viable alternatives to the traditional diesel and petrol run vehicles.
How Does A Hybrid Car Work?
According to Union of Concerned Scientists, Electric or hybrid vehicles employ the best of both worlds; they combine the advantages of gasoline and electric power to deliver a fuel-efficient machine. Hybrid cars function by maximizing the electric portion of the drivetrain, and as a result, they produce fewer emissions. Reduced emissions are made possible by the battery powered engine which comes in use while driving in slow traffic. This second battery recharges via the gasoline engine which runs the car in high traffic.
The fewer emissions a car produces, the higher the green credentials. The environmental performance of a car has become an essential focal point while purchasing a vehicle as potential buyers compare the green credentials of models they are interested in before making a decision.
There are three types of hybrid cars as follows:
These cars are engineered to automatically choose to operate in parallel mode, series mode or all-electric mode. What is the difference between these two? While in parallel mode, the gas engine, and electric motor drive the wheels. While in series mode, the gas engine provides the power while the electric motor drives the wheels. These cars are the most fuel-efficient hybrids on the market.
This type of hybrid operates only in parallel mode which makes it less energy-efficient than the full hybrid discussed above. Its battery and helper motor are not powerful enough to drive the car without input from the gas engine.
This is the most advanced hybrid engineered with the robust power of a full hybrid. The plug-in hybrid operates in all-electric mode by utilizing the onboard supply of electricity. Similar to other electronic devices, the car is charged by just plugging into a power source. Car manufacturers are setting their sights on releasing plug-in hybrids for the future generation of vehicles.
Production of electric vehicles dates as far back late 1990s starting with the Toyota Prius launched in Japan followed by the United States. Back then, consumers were not privy to information on hybrid automotive technology which led to scrutiny and a hands-off kind of attitude towards hybrid vehicles.
These attitudes have changed over the years with more car buyers willing to make the change to electric automobiles. Customer feedback with rave reviews on unique features such as door speakers for sound quality has played a key role in encouraging more sales across the world.
At the heart of hybrid technology lies the need to conserve fuel consumption. Hybrid cars operate through a combination of gasoline or diesel engines and electric motors. This engineered compromise is superior to the traditional gas powered engines.
If you are keen on following the news channels, you may have heard the terms ‘green’ and going green hit the airwaves more than a couple of times. When the car stops, the internal combustion engine promptly shuts down to conserve fuel and eliminate emissions. Hybrid cars emit 25%- 35% fewer emissions than regular vehicles, and this factor has become a major selling point for these cars.
Despite misinformed beliefs, hybrid cars have a unique characteristic in their ability to deliver high horsepower. They are made to give immediate maximum torque, so you do not have to wait for the motor to rev up.
Regenerative Brake System
Electric cars are engineered to allow the battery to recharge automatically using the energy released each time you brake. Automatic reloading saves you from downtime as the car does it simultaneously as you cruise along.
In spite of misconstrued beliefs, electric automobiles save you money in the long run. The initial financial investment is usually higher as compared to regular cars, but drivers of electric vehicles will attest to the fact that their operational costs are low. First off, hybrid cars require less petrol or diesel as they come with a backup engine that runs on electricity. Secondly, you gain access to government incentive programs that offer subsidies to hybrid users. Furthermore, choosing hybrid exempts you from low emission charges and annual car tax bills as per environmental laws targeting drivers of regular cars.
Higher Resale Value
This benefit comes into effect when you decide to trade in your current model for another. Upgrades such as better models of door speakers for quality will guarantee a premium sale price. You can then top up and buy an advanced (and still hybrid!) model. Increasing demand for green cars and rising fuel prices prompts a surge in resale value for hybrid automobiles.
Less Dependence On Fossil Fuels
Since hybrid cars require less fuel to operate, drivers eventually use less fuel as compared to drivers of regular cars. If you are still reluctant to this idea, one glance at fossil fuel reports is bound to change your mind.
If you are a speed devil, hybrid checks this box as well. Car manufacturers like Porsche have built battery-assisted cars with exceptional speeds. High speed is achieved by harnessing the power of the electron to enhance acceleration rather than conserve fuel.
The move to hybrid cars has been a long way coming from the first crude electric car in the 1800s. Motivations for saving fuel and going green are serious now than ever before, and this is where the hybrid gets a leg-up.
Consumer awareness of green cars has increased over the years as environmental activists lobby governments and car manufacturers to make more affordable generations of hybrids in a bid to save the planet from destruction.
Very soon, the electric vehicles will become top of mind choice in vehicle selection. Join the revolution and let us hand you the key to your next adventure.
Christina Powell, the author of this article, is a blogger at Wheelonroad.net – a blog that is
focused on sharing tips and tricks about automotive. She tweets at @wheelonroad.
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