Auto Part Insights - Hybrid Cars

Hybrid Cars -- Much more than just a Concept

Hybrid Cars are no longer showcased as concept models in auto-shows and they are definitely not confined to the testing laboratories. These vehicles are already out on the roads and they are proving out to be quite a refreshing change. Hybrid Cars represent the idea behind reducing emissions, concentrating on alternative sources of energy and increasing the fuel efficiency in vehicles. The most common Hybrids these days usually host two types of engines; a gasoline internal combustion engine and one or more electric motors. Additionally, these vehicles also host Regenerative Braking Systems that convert kinetic energy produced by braking into electrical energy that is utilized to power the vehicle as well as the on-board electronics. The term Hybrid Vehicle however represents any type of vehicle that is powered by two or more distinct sources. It is a fact that Hybrid Cars are up to 40% more fuel efficient than normal vehicles and produce 60% lesser emissions as well. If you buy a hybrid vehicle, you not only do good for your pocket but also for the environment. The US Government recently announced added incentives and tax benefits for hybrid car owners to popularize this concept. Hybrid Cars depend on two entirely different types of engines that complement each other to automatically regulate the fuel consumption and power output of the vehicle depending on its speed. The electric motor works when the vehicle is traveling at lower speeds or stationary e.g. in traffic jams whereas the gasoline engine kicks in when the speeds reaches in excess of 40 mph to provide the extra power needed. The internal combustion engine is powered by gasoline and while it is running, the electric motor and other electricity storage equipment get charged and ready to take over when the speed drops. Another feature of these vehicles that allows them to save fuel is the hibernation mode wherein the vehicle utilizes least amounts of electric energy while the vehicle is stationary. Hybrid Cars also called HEVs (Hybrid Electric Vehicles) are much better than electric vehicles in terms of performance at higher speeds and power output. Also, two separate engines mean that even if one engine develops a snag, there is always another engine to prevent you from being stranded. Hybrid Vehicles will surely become an established segment in the years to come since there is already a crisis to save the environment from pollution and the natural resources from over-exploitation. Although Hybrid Cars do wonders to the environment and prove fuel efficient too, they are not an easy buy. These vehicles cost a good 40% more than your average car of the same segment. These cars are heavy on maintenance too. Two engines mean more parts that may need servicing and repairing in due course of time. There is a lot of complex machinery used in these cars as well. If there is a replacement part needed for such a vehicle, it costs almost twice as much as a normal auto part does. Although manufacturers might convince you that these vehicles come with warranty for 30,000 miles, this warranty does not necessarily cover any replacement of parts. There is no doubt that with improvements in technology, modern Hybrid Vehicles will continue to evolve. There could be a case wherein Hybrid Vehicles take over other segments in the car market owing to the high demand for fuel efficient and environment friendly vehicles. Continuous improvements in technology will lower the costs as well. All we need to do is just wait and watch. James Rodham
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