Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Hybrid Cars Transport for the Future

By: lar

Hybrid cars are one of the more recent, and most practical, innovations in the fight against greenhouse gases and global warming. Electric cars would of course be the ultimate in reducing emissions, aside from those produced in the generation of the electricity used to power them. But all attempts to produce a viable electric car have produced nothing that would be useable and practical to the average driver.

Electric cars are all very well if you do not wish to travel faster than 40-50 mph, or go more than 100 miles before recharging you batteries for several hours. But for most of us this isn’t a realistic option. Many of us however would still like to make a contribution to the good of the environment without it adversely affecting our daily lives, and hybrid cars are a great way to start towards this goal.

One direct and immediate benefit of driving a hybrid car is the reduction in your fuel bill. This has become more and more important recently with the escalating cost of gas at the pumps. A typical car driving around town will return fuel economy figures of less than 25 mpg. This can be much lower with the larger cars that many own and especially with SUV’s which often have alarmingly low fuel economy around town often running at 15-25 mpg with many achieving less than 10 mpg!

This startlingly low, and increasingly expensive, figure can be improved dramatically by changing to any of the hybrid cars that are currently on the market. You should find it relatively easy to achieve figures in excess of 55 mpg; with even large SUV’s getting a figure of 30-40 mpg. This obviously depends on the type of driving you do, your hybrid carcar and your style of driving, but there are considerable savings to be had.

Changing to hybrid cars instead of conventional petrol or diesel engined ones could save you a great deal of money. You could realistically cut your fuel bill by anywhere between 25 to 50 per cent. If you are currently driving an SUV and change to a similar hybrid model you could see an average $3,000 fuel bill reduced to $1,500 or even under a thousand dollars if you go instead for one of the smaller, though still reasonably sized hybrid cars.

One of the arguments against hybrid cars, and also one of the reasons that many were reluctant to make the change was price. Hybrid cars are inevitably more expensive to buy than conventional cars due to the fact that they an electric motor as well as a petrol engine.

This, however may be due to change with the new tax breaks for hybrid cars. In any case the difference is much less than it used to be, with some hybrid cars costing as little as $1,000 more than their conventional counterparts. This would be likely, with a normal amount of mileage, to be more than saved in fuel costs in the first year.

Now the hoped for tax breaks for hybrid cars have emerged the cost of the vehicles should be more on a par with the standard road going model and these savings should be money in the bank. And would encourage a previously skeptical public view the benefits of hybrid cars as being financial as well as environmental. This would encourage a much wider ownership which in turn may drive prices lower again as cost per unit decreases with the economy of scale that mass production can bring.

So hybrid cars may soon be not only good for the environment but also good for your wallet as well. And hopefully in the near future, hybrid cars may be, with the falling price and ever increasing fuel efficiency, not only marginally, but a substantially cheaper and cleaner alternative for the financially and environmentally conscious driver.

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