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Hybrid Buzz

Hybrid vehicles have taken the auto world by storm. Ever since Toyota and Honda introduced their hybrids into the marketplace, the demand has exceeded the supply.

Most of those who have been attracted to the new lines of hybrid cars do so out of regard for the environment followed by a desire to lessen this country's dependence upon foreign oil and save a few bucks on high gasoline prices.


Pictured is the Ford Escape Hybrid SUV.

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Hybrid Vehicles - Not Just Hybrid Cars

Hybrid cars may have been the first on the market, but the market has expanded to include other hybridized vehicles as well. Hybrid SUVs, trucks, minivans, buses and motorcycles are all either in development or on the market as we speak.

Hybrids See Green

Hybrid manufacturers have been seeing green because of the popularity and demand for such vehicles. But, this demand is mostly because consumers are seeing a different green in that they hope for a greener environment. Hybrid cars form a class of 'green vehicles' that offer very low to zero emissions and take a step towards making this dream come true.

In fact, the American Automobile Association (AAA) in its Westways magazine and ACEEE's Green Book both outline five different levels of low emission vehicles. Zero-emission, partial zero-emission, super-ultra-low-emission, ultra-low-emission and low-emission vehicles all help the environment by putting less pollutants into the air than traditional vehicles. Not all of the greenest vehicles are automobiles, either. ACEEE's 'Greenest Vehicles of 2005' puts the Ford Escape Hybrid on the top 12 list as a 36 mpg/city, 31 mpg/hwy, partial zero emission vehicle.

Hybrids Use Less Foreign Oil

Gasoline prices have skyrocketed and there is no end in sight to the upward trend. By consuming less gasoline as the hybrids do, we lessen our demand for foreign petroleum products. Less demand means less dependence.

Hybrid vehicles can also be seen as a logical interim step into the forthcoming hydrogen economy. Hydrogen cars are now being developed where the only emission is water and will be expected to hit the showrooms within the next 5 years.

Consumers want a cleaner environment and less foreign oil dependence now, though, so hybrid gasoline-electric cars or other alternative fuel vehicles make sense until this time. Even after this time, most vehicles will remain hybrids since this will mean fuel savings no matter which fuel is being used. This is especially true for plug-in hybrids, which will most likely be around for decades to come.

In addition, another interim step may just be the gasoline-hydrogen hybrid car, which can be seen as a transitory step into fuel cell vehicles or an internal combustion all hydrogen car. No matter what though, hydrogen cars are only for lease with few fueling options outside of California.

For Now ...

For now, those who want to clean up greenhouse gases and thumb their noses at Middle East oil can purchase the hybrids currently on the market from the major automotive manufacturers. Or a whole slew of plug-in hybrids are just around the corner. No matter what models the future holds auto insurance companies will still offer coverage for hybrids.

And because hybrids are not fully electric, dealers that sell auto parts and mechanics will still be in existence and thriving even with the new technology of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles just over the horizon.

Going green today for blue skies tomorrow.

 

Updated April 15, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 


 

 

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