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Hybrid Vehicles - The Energy Wave of the Future

Hybrid vehicles have been the hype in recent years. At a time when the environment is the concern of every nation, technologies such as that employed in a hybrid car are looked at as the energy wave of the future.

What is a hybrid car?

A hybrid car is one that operates by use of an electric motor solely, or in tandem with a combustion engine. The electrical system consists of a re-chargeable battery, which holds the chemical energy that propels the vehicle.

In contrast with conventional cars, hybrid vehicles are able to deliver much lower levels of fuel consumption because of their dual ability to convey power from a fuel-powered motor to an electric motor.  Due to their smaller engine designs, hybrid vehicles consume even lesser fuel.

Continuous technological research has made it possible for some hybrid car types to reduce or regain surplus energy by renewing the source through uniquely designed power units that are powered when the breaking system on the vehicle is engaged. By activating the power through energy hoarded in an on-board battery pack and by-passing the fuel burning module, a hybrid car will maintain motion with battery power only.

Initially, European car manufacturers are the ones that widely embraced hybrid car technology, but many American car companies have gained interest too. The erstwhile restriction on battery life is one downside that is being thoroughly investigated.

However, on the back of the rising fuel prices, together with new technological developments - for instance advanced light-weight lithium-ion batteries - hybrid vehicles are assuming a respectable position among conventional car manufacturers worldwide.

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Future oriented designers, as well as production teams, are investing are pouring millions of dollars into creating a more efficient hybrid vehicle that is more universally accepted and, already a considerable share of consumer acceptance has been realized.

Studies have indicated that a perfected hybrid vehicle can be able to deliver up to 100 miles on a gallon of fuel. It’s no wonder then that hybrid technology has become part of the future strategic alignment for most of the conventional car makers, owing to the rapid depletion of oil and gas reserves, which has seen extortionate increases in transportation costs.

Earlier vehicle prototypes designed with hybrid technology were generally unsuccessful in attracting universal appeal due to the many on-board batteries that were needed to power the car, not to mention the resultant power conversion issues that were necessary for the car to run efficiently.

Then again, recent technological breakthroughs in on-board re-chargeable battery systems (through traditional electrical plug-ins) have caught the eye of various research departments of car manufacturers.

A hybrid car capable of re-charging with an electrical outlet is currently under a lot of research and development. One major hindrance is the time it requires to fully re-charge the batteries. But with the amounts being poured into this research, coupled with the ever evolving technology, a hybrid vehicle of this efficiency seems like a realistic promise.

Generally, the prospect of a hybrid car offers a win-win situation both at a domestic and global level. Reduction in greenhouse emissions and energy savings mean that we shall regain considerable control over how much of our planet we can save.

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