Is there a market for Hybrid Vehicles in the United States? The problem is compelling. When gas prices shot up last year averaging about $3.76 a gallon, everyone was looking to save at the pumps. Car makers were selling lots of compact cars. America’s vehicles were getting smaller.
Then the opposite happened. Gas prices started to fall and Americans went back to buying Ford F150’s and powerful full size SUV’s. The car markers and dealerships had the problem of lots of compact vehicles and some Hybrid Vehicles on their lots and no buyers.
So what are the car makers to do? What about consumers? Do we have to guess at what the market will bring? Will there be another “cash for clunker program”?
Well the answer is we have to be savvy buyers. We are going to have to ask ourselves how big of a vehicle do we want? Do we buy compact, subcompact, SUV, hybrid, or even truck?
What we ultimately would like are larger vehicles that uses less fuel. Oh yes, but not at the expense of giving up on power or reliability.
Fortunately technology is addressing this issue and the answer is in Hybrid vehicles and cleaner burning diesel cars and trucks.
What is a hybrid vehicle? Well it is any vehicle that combines two or more sources of power that can directly or indirectly provide propulsion power to act in unison or independently of each other.Wow that’s a mouthful. Basically it can if it would like to, do two things at the same time.
Hybrid vehicles have very sophisticated electric motors and generators that are used to produce electrical power.The electric motor in the units use batteries which are used to draw energy to accelerate the car or truck. But acting as a generator, it can also slow the car down and return energy back to the batteries.
So it can give and take when it is asked to.
The unit has periodic engine shut off – when the car is stopped in traffic, the engine is temporarily shut off. It restarts automatically when put back into gear either by stepping on the accelerator or releasing the clutch.
Hybrid Vehicles utilize things like a sleeker body style. Thinner tires,lighter composites all to reduce the weight and drag to bring better fuel mileage and save energy.
There are really two kinds of gasoline hybrids. The parallel hybrid and the series hybrid.
In a parallel hybrid vehicle, a gasoline engine and an electric motor blend together to move the vehicle. Basically doing two things at the same time.
In a series hybrid the gasoline engine either directly powers an electric motor that powers the vehicle or charges batteries that will power the motor. Basically doing only one thing at a time.
The automobile industry as a whole has a new and vital role in implementing changes as to how it is going to continue to make vehicles. We can see sweeping changes happening each and every year as the EPA keeps forcing the industry to cut emissions. Consumers are always looking for better fuel economy and better performance. Buyers are now starting to “think green” when purchasing vehicles are and stressing for more ways to bring a lighter environmental impact on our fragile world.
The good news is that the automobile industries are developing newer technologies and addressing each and every avenue to bring consumers what the want.
As we continue to move on into the new decade we will start to see things like solar panels built into the top of cars keeping them cool as they are parked. Solar panels in the headlights and taillights will help recharge the hybrid batteries.
The future of the automobile industry as well as the economy will remain a mystery for now. However our technological advances in making superior energy efficient vehicles are mind boggling. As we keep coming up with new ideas and better ways to improve on itself. It is an exciting time to see the changes occurring and we can look forward to seeing marked improvements in all phases of fuel economy and conservation.
Keep “Thinking Green” my friends