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Coming Soon To A Garage Near You - The Hybrid Car
Buying a new car is a costly affair for most people, and with the ever rising oil price it is becoming a more and more expensive affair to own your own car too. With an oil price that works in a way so that a rain in north America raises the price people in Finland pays for gasoline from Russia, it is not strange that the market is eager to be offered more economical cars.
To make metters even worse, we are today well aware that the large scale use of fossil fuel like oil is very bad for the environment. Burning up things that have taken hundreds fo thousands of years to accumulate within a couple of hundred years is obviously not a very good idea.
All of the above has resulted in a new breed of cars being rapidly developed. These cars combine the best features of the electric cars with that of conventional, gasoline powered cars. These type of cars are called hybrid cars, and you are likely to hear a lot about them in the very near future.
The electric car revisited
The electric car first sounded like a great idea, since it has no emissions while it runs. However, this is only partially true as how clean this can be considered depends on how the electricity for the electric car is produced - if it comes from a coal plant for example, it isn't very clean at all.
Furthermore, the storage of large amounts of electricity is problematic at best and in practise turns electric cars to pure bread city cars. At least with the ways we currently store electricity.
Hybrid cars combine an electric engine with a gasoline powered one, which means the use of gasoline isn't eliminated entirely but it can be greatly reduced. The dual engines also allow for smaller engines to be used, and they take advantage of things like regenerative breaking.
Naturally the hybrid cars are also extremely lightweight and aerodynamically well designed, all to reduce the energy needed to run them. In slow city traffic the conventional engine is automatically shut of completely, producing no emissions whatsoever. When more speed and power is needed, the conventional engine is allowed to seamlessly kick in partially or fully.
Hybrid cars are here NOW
Like much of the car market today, it is the Japanese who have been a leading force to develop attractive looking hybrid vehicles, such as the hybrid powered Honda Accord and Toyota Prius. Contrary to what one might believe, these cars have also been a great success on the market.
The idea of saving on gas is obviously appealing to a lot of people.
Most well known North American manufacturers are also expected to jump on the bandwagon of this lucrative market very soon. Many of them, including Ford, Chevrolet and Mercury have in fact already launched hybrid powered version of some of their models.
Since this is now a phenomenon that all big manufacturers are getting into, you can expect to see many of these cars appearing more commonly at local car dealers. As this is considered cutting edge technology, one can expect the initial prices to be rather high though. But then again, a hybrid car will mean considerable savings on buying gas. As the competition will no doubt be stiff, it will be interesting to see how the pricing of these cars develop during the next few years.
While the best thing for the environment would be to chuck oil out of the picture completely, hybrid cars represent one of the best alternatives one can decide to buy right now - combining the cleanliness of the electric engine with the mileage of a conventional combustion engine. Hybrid cars are certainly not to be considered unorthodox or overly futuristic - they are here NOW.
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