Looking to go Green? Hybrids are the Answer
Readers will be surprised to learn that the technology found in hybrid cars is now over 20 years old, but they’d be even more surprised to learn that it’s still the most efficient technology across all eco-friendly vehicles. Fully electric cars, autonomous driving, and even hydrogen vehicles have all been stealing the limelight recently, soaking up all the attention while hybrids are treated as the red-headed stepchild. The logistics of recharging, charging time and driving distance are all factors that prospective buyers should take into account when considering an eco-friendly vehicle. A daily commute is enough to deplete the battery charge of plug-ins and all-electric cars, rendering them inefficient. Hybrid technology reigns supreme despite its age – without a need for direct electricity, it is the more feasible and reliable of all eco-friendly vehicle options.
What’s a hybrid?
For a car to be considered a hybrid, it must have at least one electric motor and an internal-combustion engine. Either the engine or motor can power the vehicle, or sometimes both the engine and motor simultaneously, depending on the driving circumstances. Electric motors are fantastic for powering the car during low-speed driving conditions. In fact, hybrids are great for the stopping and starting of city driving because the added torque of the electric motor draws on the battery only for power, making them a more efficient vehicle during city driving than on the highway.
Another benefit of hybrid vehicles is that if cruising while the gasoline engine is being used, it will power the generator that produces electricity and stores it in the batteries for later use. The main benefit of driving a hybrid is fuel economy – as a bonus, the pollution of the output of the car is reduced because a hybrid naturally burns less fuel. A hybrid vehicle makes for a fantastic alternative for all-electric cars that still don’t have the proper charging infrastructure, thus limiting their range. Prospective buyers should know that a hybrid isn’t a miracle car, and its ability to live up to fuel economy claims depends mostly on how and where the vehicle is driven – mainly dependent on how well both engines work together.
Benefits of Owning a Hybrid
The most attractive selling point of a hybrid is the fuel efficiency, but prospective buyers will be surprised to find that there are many more benefits. Since the combustion engine will only be running half the time, the hybrid vehicle will need less maintenance in the long run, thus saving owners some maintenance money. The reduced fuel dependence of hybrids helps reduce the country’s need for oil and helps keep the price of gasoline in check, benefiting all drivers no matter the vehicle. Recent studies show that hybrids remain in high demand on the used car market, making them retain their value more than other vehicles. The value retainment aspect makes hybrids a better long-term investment, making the car more attractive for prospective buyers looking to break even in the future.
Is there a green future for FCA?
Fiat Chrysler automobiles recently unveiled their five-year electrification plans – plans that include a lineup that will have a varied electric and electric adjacent fleet by 2022. Hybrid technology will continue to grow, with eco-friendly vehicles becoming a more and more dominant force on our roadways. As for the present, the first ever hybrid minivan was introduced by none other than Chrysler. The Pacifica Hybrid is a plug-in hybrid that combines a 3.6-liter Pentastar engine with a plug-in rechargeable battery pack and the exclusive eFlite electrically variable transmission for an all-electric 33-mile range.
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