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Hybrid cars are defined as any car that propels by more than one energy source.

The most common hybrid car combines a gasoline engine with an electric motor. These cars are known as hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs). In the 1960s, the United States congress introduced legislation that encouraged greater use of electric vehicles in an attempt to reduce air pollution. Over the next 25 years, auto manufacturers spent billions of dollars on research and development of hybrid technologies. In 1999, the Honda Insight became the first mass-production HEV released in the United States. The two-door, two-seat car may have been first, but it was the Toyota Prius sedan, released in the United States in 2000, that gave hybrid technology the foothold it was looking for. The first production hybrid car was the Toyota Prius, first sold in Japan in December 1997 for the 1998 model year and the first production hybrid car in the US was the Honda Insight, first sold in the US in 1999 for the 2000 model year. (

Hybrid cars would run for a certain distance on the stored electric power alone, and when the battery pack is depleted to a certain point the vehicle reverts back to its original hybrid self and runs on a combination of the gasoline engine which will also recharge the battery and the electric motor. The vehicle would add a greater all-electric range to the existing hybrid, besides the ability to plug it into an electric source. As the lowest common denominator, hybrids usually have a larger motor for starting the gasoline engine or for charging the hybrid battery, larger/additional hybrid battery pack to drive the electric motor, auto-stop (gasoline engine turns off at idle), regenerative braking (coasting or light braking will cause the motor to act as a generator, capturing some of that lost kinetic energy and storing it as electricity in the hybrid battery), improved fuel economy, and lower emissions. (

Hybrid cars have become the most popular alternative vehicle design around, and are certainly the most viable given current technology. Like everything else, they have their advantages and disadvantages too. Hybrid-electric vehicles combine the benefits of gasoline engines and electric motors and can be configured to obtain different objectives, such as improved fuel economy, increased power, or additional auxiliary power for electronic devices and power tools. The

electric motor applies resistance to the drive train causing the wheels to slow down. In return, the energy from the wheels turns the motor, which functions as a generator, converting energy normally wasted during coasting and braking into electricity, which is stored in a battery until needed by the electric motor. The electric motor provides additional power to assist the engine in accelerating, passing, or hill climbing. This allows a smaller, more efficient engine to be used. In some vehicles, the motor alone provides power for low-speed driving conditions where internal combustion engines are least efficient. Its automatic start and shutoff will automatically shut off the engine when the vehicle comes to a stop and restart it when the accelerator is pressed. This prevents wasted energy from idling. Regenerative brakes are one of the handy features in your hybrid gas-electric car that improves gas mileage. They work in combination with conventional brake pads to slow down and stop the vehicle. When engaged, the regenerative braking system captures the energy of the car in motion. This recaptured energy, called kinetic energy, turns the electric motor and charges the battery. They share the burden of powering the vehicle with the internal combustion engine. The electric motor assists the smaller engine to give it the power of a larger engine. The electric motor powers the car without the engine when the car idles and while city driving. Hybrid vehicles that use a regenerative braking system experience less wear and tear on the brake pads. Thus, they do not need to be replaced as often as in conventional cars. The lower usage of components like fuel pumps and filters might also translate into a reduced need for repairs or replacement, which can translate into a low-maintenance form of transportation and more money saved. Hybrids use less gasoline and therefore emit less greenhouse gas. Its lower fuel requirements lead to lower emissions, less carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere and, therefore, lower levels of air pollution. Hybrid car batteries are recyclable, creating less waste in landfills. Hybrid car batteries (of the Prius, for example) are completely recyclable. Toyota runs a comprehensive battery re-cycling facility for their nickelmetal hydride batteries. They also claim never to have needed to replace a battery through wear and tear! (

Hybrid cars, though useful, have some disadvantages. Hybrid cars cost more than their conventional, non-hybrid counterparts in terms of an initial investment. Hybrid vehicles also cost more to repair because of the complexity of the dual compulsion system used in most hybrid vehicles. Not all mechanics are trained or equipped to work on hybrid vehicles and repair bills

will be larger than with standard vehicles. Also, because of the increased weight of hybrid vehicles, it is expected to replace tires and brakes more frequently as well. Hybrid cars are so quiet. When the hybrid runs on the electric motor, it produces less noise pollution than a conventional vehicle. Safety experts worry children, distracted people and the blind are more likely to be hit by a hybrid car than a car with a significantly noisier combustion engine. It weighs more due to battery packs. In the event of an unfortunate accident, there is a risk of exposure to high voltage wires. What makes a hybrid car work effectively is also what makes it risky if it ever gets involved in an accident. This is because hybrid cars stores high amount of voltage in its batteries. This means that there is a high chance of getting electrocuted when you get involved in an accident. They have a complicated system which needs to be taken care of by experienced mechanics only.

Obviously there are many more advantages and benefits to owning a hybrid car. The benefits of hybrid cars are many, particularly on the environment, reducing the amount of pollution from carbon dioxide emissions. It combines the uses of renewable energy source which is inexhaustible. Renewable energy source can be utilized as a cost effective substitute and can save the world from energy crisis. The reduction in the use of gas directly reduces the amount of carbon dioxide released into the air which could save the world and its habitants from further destruction. It is hoped the manufactures will produce more hybrid vehicles in the future by doing innovative changes to hybrid vehicles that will make them more affordable, more reliable and hopefully someday remove the need for fossil fuels completely.

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