Hybrid Car Models

Eleanor Hanson

Hybrid vehicles represent the wave of the future. For those of us who are still unclear as to what a hybrid is, the concept is fairly simple: it uses two or more power or fuel sources to drive an engine. In most of the vehicles presently being marketed the mix of power sources is electricity and standard gasoline.

Benefits of this combination include greater fuel efficiency and the reduction of greenhouse gasses and emissions. Presently, most major car companies offer at least one version of a hybrid vehicle. Among the most popular on the market today are the Toyota Prius, Honda Insight and Honda Civic. However, due to the popularity of SUVs in the United States, hybrid SUVs such as the Ford Escape, Toyota Highlander and the Chevy Tahoe are also currently available.

While hybrid cars represent a number of environmental benefits for their earth conscious buyers, they are not without drawbacks. Many hybrid cars run with significantly reduced horse power making them seem less responsive or powerful on the road. Additionally, the technologies that make hybrid automobiles eco-friendly can also cost their owners significantly more in routine maintenance than traditional gas-only vehicles. As hybrid technologies improve the issues surrounding the performance of hybrid cars should also improve, making hybrid vehicles an even more appealing option for the general public.

Presently, car companies are working hard to expand their offerings of hybrid vehicles. Several technologies and green energy solutions are presently being developed, (including fuel cells, hydra fuel cells, and bio-fuels), to help improve the efficiency of hybrid vehicles. Toyota Motor Corporation, for example, plans to have plug-in electric hybrid cars ready to market by 2012. These plug-in hybrid vehicles could improve fuel economy by as much as sixty percent and will further improve both the marketability and efficiency of hybrid vehicles.

As we move into the future, more and more car companies are developing technology to help reduce our nation’s reliance on oil through hybrid, alternative and green energy vehicles. Although hybrid cars are still in their fledgling state, their development, marketability, and popularity represent a promising future for the hybrid automobile market.

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