01 November 2011

The Eco Friendly Hybrid Car

It has been treated a joke the last few years; the Hybrid car. But now with rising oil prices, economic troubles and increased awareness on the fragile Earth environment, these vehicles are definitely showing on the mainstream market.

They have crossed from being a trendy choice to an acceptable one. Years ahead, they may even outpace and replace their fossil fuel counterparts.

Most if not all eco friendly cars at the moment are hybrids. They run on both fuel and electricity. We still haven't reached the kind of technology where we can really be fossil fuel free.The engine decides which power source to use depending on the use of the vehicle and the condition of the power source. Some hybrids even use special fuels that are also Earth friendly or 'green'.

As oil supplies dwindle and prices go up, people understand that inevitably there will be a switch on energy consumption. There have been forays into algae produced gasoline, solar power, wind power, and even a project to harvest minerals on the moon for nuclear fusion.

Video: How a hybrid car works:

Cars and how they are powered is what impacts us directly. And with oil situation of supply and cost, it is the best time to switch and acclimate to these new technologies. But what are the factors in choosing the right hybrid? There are so many out there and each have different technologies running them that it may be quite confusing.

  • Consider what powers the car. Are the alternative fuel stations that the vehicle need easily accessible?
  • Battery performance. How long does it last? How long does it take to charge?
  • Car insurance. Hybrids fall into a special category and being informed of how insurance companies treat these vehicles will come in handy.
  • Family size. Currently, family size vans aren't really an option for eco friendly vehicles at the moment. Hopefully this will change.
  • Use. Sometimes practical is not economical. Hybrids are good for the normal office commute but as mentioned in number 4, a traditional vehicle may be needed for those who do regular cross country or heavy traveling.

At the moment, the The Toyota Prius is the top selling hybrid car with 2.36 million units sold worldwide as of Aug 2011. The EPA and California Air Resources Board (CARB) rate the vehicle as one of the cleanest cars sold in the U.S. based on smog forming and toxic emissions. But other brands are also gaining momentum and focus such as the Chevy Volt and the Honda Insight.

It won't be long when car manufacturers can produce hybrids that cover each and every category for vehicle use. Using a hybrid is a smart decision but knowing when to shift and what to shift to will even be the smarter thing.

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