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The New Era Of Electric & Hybrid Cars

With the decision to go green comes the responsibility to determine exactly how green one wants to go. Beyond recycling the newspaper and separating the plastics from the glass, going green offers a bevy of opportunities to save the planet. If the buyer is contemplating integrating green technologies into their transportation regime, then deciding whether to go hybrid or purchasing a completely electric vehicle is the defining question prior to purchase.
Hybrid Cars Open the Road to Fuel Efficiency

Of the two technologies, the hybrid is currently more applicable to daily driving routines than the purely electric model for reasons that will be discussed shortly, which relates primarily to issues with the batteries.

In a hybrid vehicle, as the name implies, the car operates on two separate power plants: an internal combustion engine and an electrical motor. Under this system, the vehicle is powered by an internal combustion engine that shunts excess power, which is typically lost in the braking process, to the electric battery pack to be used to power the car at a latter time.

This process results in dramatic gas savings over drivers using conventional drive trains. Owners of hybrid vehicles will note that the electric motor is the workhorse at low speeds and in stop and go traffic, while driving conditions necessitating higher speeds, such as found on the freeway, will witness the internal combustion engine creating the lion share of the power for acceleration.

One of the primary misconceptions about hybrid cars is that people think they need to be periodically plugged in to get a charge. This is a false belief. As mentioned, hybrid cars get their electrical charge from the activity of the engine and require regular fuel just as in a traditionally powered automobile.

With the exception of two American made models, the Ford Fusion and the Chevy Volt, the bulk of successful hybrid sales are originating with Asian-based firms. Perhaps the most popular brand to buy for new hybrid owners is the Toyota Prius with sales totaling ten times the number of completed sales transactions that American manufactured vehicles garnered.

On the downside, the buy in cost of a new hybrid is expensive. This is particularly concerning when a conventionally fuel efficient car, like the Honda Civic for instance, tops out at a cost of $17,000 while a hybrid can set the buyer back from $19,000 to $25,000.


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