For anyone interested in saving money at the gas pump and helping the environment, the new hybrid cars are an excellent choice. Small and fuel-efficient, hybrids are now being made by more manufacturers than ever.
Although hybrids cost more, and can be hard to find due to high demand, it still pays to choose a hybrid. Consider the following reasons to buy a hybrid next time you are in the market for a new car.
Smaller, More Efficient Engines
The hybrid's fuel efficiency is increased by its small size and the use of lightweight materials. Periodic engine shut-off is another fuel saving feature of the hybrid. When it is stopped in traffic, the hybrid's engine temporarily shuts off. The engine restarts automatically when the car is put back in gear.
Hybrids are powered by the combination of an efficient gasoline engine backed by an electric motor for acceleration. The electric motor is powered by batteries that are recharged automatically by recapturing the kinetic energy usually lost during braking, known as regenerative braking. When the car is slowing down, the electric motor runs backwards, acting as a generator to charge the battery.
With this collection of advanced fuel efficiency features, hybrids can outperform conventional cars in several arenas.
Another reason hybrids are more environmentally friendly than conventional gas engines is that they idle less and use fuel more efficiently. The hybrid not only gets better gas mileage, it produces less pollution than other, non-hybrid cars. Some hybrids are getting 10 to 20 miles per gallon more than a regular gas engine. They are also capable of reducing harmful emissions by 90%.
Many hybrids use aerodynamic design to reduce drag and improve fuel efficiency. Low rolling tires made of special resistant rubber reduce friction on the road. The high capacity, nickel-metal-hydride battery pack is reliable and available to power the hybrid when needed. Hybrids also use the latest in power-train technology, for integrated power management that contributes to fuel efficiency.
Popularity Enhances Styles And Choices
More makes and models are now being offered as the popularity of hybrid cars continues to escalate. Buyers can now purchase the Honda Civic and Accord, Ford Escape, and Toyota Camry in hybrids. GMC and Chevrolet are currently making 2 hybrid pick-up trucks. In the near future, Saturn, Lexus, Honda, and Chevrolet will make hybrid SUVs available to the public. Chevrolet has plans to offer its Malibu in hybrid form in 2007.
You can get a hybrid that looks like a conventional car, such as the Ford Escape. Or you can choose a hybrid that looks completely different from anything else on the road, such as the Toyota Prius. With so many hybrid cars on the market, there is a style to suit almost everyone.
Tax Incentives Available
People who buy hybrids can get significant tax breaks from the US Federal government through 2006. The amount of your tax break is determined by your tax bracket and when you file. Some states are also starting to offer hybrid car tax breaks as well. Tax breaks backed up over the long run by lower fuel costs make hybrid cars a good buy.
Fuel Efficiency Becomes A Reality
Although most people have been aware of hybrids only in recent years, the technology has actually been around for a long time. Ferdinand Porsche built the first successful hybrid car in 1899. But hybrids first began to catch on in the 1990s when Honda introduced the Insight and Toyota introduced the Prius.
It's been a long wait, but fuel-efficient transportation is finally becoming a reality with the hybrid. As more of these cars take to the road, our air will become cleaner, and our country will be less dependent on foreign sources of oil.