​Benefits of Hybrid Cars

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August 19, 2009

Much of the information published here about benefits of hybrid cars can also be found from our FAQ and help section. There are more hybrid cars on the road today than any other time in automotive history. Consumers are demanding cars with better fuel efficiency, and for the most part, some of the major automakers are delivering. Some of these automobile manufacturers include Ford, Toyota, Honda, and General Motors.

New Hybrid Cars

These new cars are also known as alternative fuel vehicles because they use a small combustion gas engine with an electric motor. The gas engine is needed for higher driving speeds, usually above 50 miles per hour, while the electric motor delivers power to the automobile when driving at slower speeds. This is an interesting concept, not only because it works, but I often wonder why it took so long to come up with this solution.

Hybrid cars are not just small compact vehicles anymore. There are larger SUVs and trucks available from a number of automakers. Honda already sells a minivan in Japan called the Estima, and other automakers are building minivans for better fuel efficiency.

For example, cars that idle in traffic consume and waste fuel. The newer automobiles are built to turn off the gas engine, saving fuel, while turning on the electric motor. In most vehicles, the electric motor will power the entire car, including accessories such as the air conditioner.

Benefits/Tax Incentives

You can get a government incentive tax credit for most cars to use on your annual taxes. In addition, while still available, the Cash for Clunkers program (also known as Car Allowance Rebate System) can offer you a credit of up to $4,500 on your trade-in. This provides a cash voucher to be used towards a purchase of a new fuel efficient automobile.

Hybrid automobiles also help consumers save gas at the pump. Most financial analysts predict higher gas prices in the future. A fuel efficient vehicle can also reduce foreign oil dependency.

Keeping the electric motor ready also means charging the battery. The battery, sometimes known as a battery pack containing multiple cells, can be recharged from the gas engine. This engine becomes a generator whenever it is turned on. In addition, there’s a new technology called regenerative braking that is used to capture some of the energy lost when stopping the vehicle. Some hybrids also use this energy as a way to recharge the battery pack, or to store the lost energy for later use.

Information about hybrid cars on the web is scattered all over the place, but much of the info is either misleading or not based on facts. For example, there are reported myths that these new vehicles will need a battery replacement every two to three years, or that it cost more fuel for cargo ships to transport hybrid batteries. This is only basic chatter and belong in debate blogs instead of areas of factual information.

The typical battery in a hybrid is covered by a warranty of between 8 and 10 years. Some of the original cars built with a gas engine and electric motor in the late 1990s are still on the road today. For the most part, the car owners are still using the original batteries that came with their automobile.

The environment impact caused by auto transportation is also another fact. We can reduce the amount of carbon emissions, one of the causes of global warming, by driving more cars built using cleaner alternate fuels. Some of these methods include battery electricity and hydrogen.

As you can see, there are many advantages that hybrids offer. If we reduce the amount of carbon emissions, we also help clean the air from pollutants that is mostly caused by the transportation industry. For now, we won’t be able to clean everything, but we can start by learning the benefits of hybrid cars.