Since the very conception of the automobile, engineers and designers have been searching for was to make them more efficient and save on fuel consumption. Petrol fuels the majority of vehicles and diesel fuel is used in heavier automotive equipment. The internal combustion engine is considered to be a major if not the biggest source of environmental pollution and the cost of fuel is increasing every day.
With a constant rise in fuel costs and the environmental concerns regarding automobiles, vehicle engineers have had to develop more economical and environmentally safer alternatives to the internal combustion engine that powers most cars. This has led to the birth of the hybrid automobile. These hybrid automobiles offer a number of benefits. The hybrid automobile is a car that is powered by both an electric motor and a gasoline engine. Compared to non hybrid vehicles, the hybrid car saves on the cost of fuel by being more fuel efficient and has a lower rate of fuel consumption.
Hybrid cars operate on a dual mode where the electric motor, powered by batteries, takes over once the gasoline engine has gotten the vehicle up to speed. Braking and deceleration generates energy that is used to charge the electric motor’s batteries. This system allows the hybrid car to provide better fuel efficiency. This also means that the engine of a hybrid vehicle is shut the moment the car is stopped. Considered the biggest advantage to the hybrid car is the reduction of environmental pollution due to fewer emissions of carbon dioxide and other harmful gases in to our atmosphere. Automobile manufactures such as Honda, Toyota, and Ford have already introduced hybrid car models to the commercial market and several others are in development.
Currently there are two types of hybrid vehicles on the market. The first is the “Series” hybrid. A battery powered electric motor powers the Series hybrid car. It also has a gasoline powered engine but it does not singularly power the vehicle. The gasoline engine powers a generator which is used in turn to charge the batteries of the electric motor. The electric motor is left on during the vehicles entire operation however the gasoline engine can be switched on or off depending on the needs of the vehicle. This type of hybrid automobile provides better mileage in city traffic.
The second type of hybrid vehicle on the market is called the “Parallel” hybrid. The Parallel hybrid car, like the Series type, has a gasoline engine and an electric motor. The electric motor and the electric motor can both be used to turn the transmission and power the vehicle. The major difference between the two types of hybrid cars is that the Parallel hybrid uses its electric motor to boost the vehicles power when required to increase the car’s speed. The Parallel hybrid car is considered better suited for the open highway.
Hybrid automobiles provide several benefits due to some very unique features. The construction of the hybrid vehicle uses more lightweight materials than traditional automobile. This saves energy by using less to propel the hybrid car. Hybrid cars also increase energy efficiency because of their more aerodynamic shapes. Tires used by hybrid vehicles run on a higher pressure and are made of a more rigid material than general car tires. The higher pressure helps to increase the vehicles gas mileage per gallon of gasoline used. The overall efficiency of the vehicle is increased by these tires because they reduce friction on road surfaces and provided a grip. The braking system provided an energy transfer from the electric motor to the vehicles batteries when ever the brakes are applied. The overall gas mileage of a hybrid varies from model to model. The EPA test numbers report that the Lexus RX400h receives 31 MPG in the city and 27 MPG the highway while the Honda Insight receives 61 MPG in the city and 68 MPG on the highway.
In conclusion, the future of automobiles is currently the hybrid car and purchasing a hybrid vehicle will not only save you money but will also allow you to take responsibility and do you part in creating a safer, cleaner and greener environment.