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Hybrids - The Future Of The Car?

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Hybrids - The Future Of The Car?

Graham Baylis
December 27, 2012


There is generally one very good thing about advancing technology and that is that it also helps to educate people. Car engines are now very sophisticated and efficient and this has brought about the knowledge that we need to find alternative methods of powering our vehicles so that we are not so reliant on fossil fuels. Engineers are developing engines that can run on other sources of energy but still have the range of a traditional petrol or diesel driven vehicle and they have come up with the hybrid engine. So what is a Hybrid car? In simple terms, it is a vehicle that has 2 sources of power which can be either battery or fuel. When the engine is required to deliver power, such as when you are driving normally on a highway or motorway, the combustion engine works to give the power. When the car is going slowly or in a stop start situation such as driving in busy towns, the battery kicks in and takes over delivery of the power.

It is a fact that has been known for a considerable time that a petrol or diesel engine is not efficient at low speeds and that the exhaust emissions can be considerably higher than those coming from an engine that is working at a higher range. This is one reason why the automotive industry has been working to develop the hybrid car. There are now several different types of hybrid car available on the market with the choices growing every year. Hybrid vehicles can be anything from small city cars to family cars to SUVs and they are becoming ever more sophisticated and efficient as the technology advances. However, will they be around in the future? In short, yes, at least for the foreseeable future. Hybrid cars are already becoming more affordable and as oil is getting more expensive and will become more difficult to obtain in the future, it will be even more important to have access to vehicles that work from power sources other than oil.

Hybrid vehicles are not only more advantageous because they are more fuel efficient and use less, they also produce fewer emissions. Pollution levels a decade ago were rising and for this reason governments have been trying to tackle emissions and pollution levels. Hybrid vehicles have been developed to run on other fuels not only as a way to save motorists money, but also as a way to reduce the carbon footprint. There are also engines that can run on bio fuels and recycled cooking oil which reduces the amount of fuel oil required and also the emissions created. Using cleaner fuels and the development of cleaner engines is a goal that must be strived for because we have become so reliant upon our vehicles for every aspect of our lives. As the technology continues to develop, the hybrid car will become more commonplace and as such the purchase costs will be reduced. Toyota was one of the first manufacturers to develop a hybrid car with its Prius model being rolled out in 1997. Since then, most of the big motor manufacturers have followed suit with Honda, Ford, Nissan and Volkswagen among the well known names producing a selection of hybrid vehicles. The future of the hybrid vehicle looks assured as they continue to be developed and become more accessible and cheaper to run.


Graham Baylis writes articles for Exol Lubricants with the aim of entertaining and informing their customers about the subject of lubrication oils and fluids. If you are interested in this area, their blog is also a resouorce that you should not miss out on. See www.exol-lubricants.com for more info.



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