Environmental issues have never been in the spotlight as much as they are today. Consumers are becoming much more environmentally conscious and companies are scrambling to appease them. This is also very true of automobile companies and this trend has lead to the development of hybrid cars.
As the name suggests, hybrid cars are just that – hybrids. They do not run on one specific type of propulsion or fuel system. Rather, hybrid cars can typically use at least two propulsion systems. While many systems have been investigated, the most common hybrid cars are those that can run on either gasoline or electricity in the form of a battery. Most recently, hybrid cars have been manufactured which can use an ethanol derivative, commonly termed Flex Fuel.
Inventors have long been conducting experiments to create hybrid cars, without success. In fact, the first experiments were conducted in the 19th century when manufacturers were attempting to phase out steam-driven vehicles. The first successful hybrid car wasn’t created until the turn of the 20th century, but it was more than 90 years before the hybrid car was released for public sale.
Typically, hybrid cars contain the main components of an everyday gasoline-driven car. There is a fuel tank, a transmission and a gasoline engine. However, today’s hybrid car also contains electric mechanisms such as a battery and an electric motor. In some cases, the battery of the hybrid car is powered by solar energy. That way, the battery can recharge itself during the day. Some owners of hybrid cars prefer to switch propulsion systems depending on whether it is day or night. Amazingly, recent developments in hybrid cars have allowed for the kinetic energy created by the gasoline engine to be used to recharge the battery.
Hybrid cars are riding a wave of popularity. Most of the major car companies, including Toyota, Honda, and even Lexus, have introduced their own hybrid cars to the automobile market. With their smaller gasoline engines and reduced output of emissions, hybrid cars appeal to any socially responsible individual. The decreased size of the engines in hybrid cars have also led to new, sleeker designs and the incorporation of much lighter materials. So, the efficiency and power are quite satisfactory for the typical user, with hybrid cars reaching a horsepower of as much as 90. With the advancements in modern technology, it can only be expected that the hybrid cars of the future will be more efficient, cheaper and in great demand.