Crude oil costs of $55 per barrel have driven the price of gasoline above $2/gallon.
Better gas mileage for hybrids equates to saving money at the gas pump.
More efficient vehicles decrease the United States dependence on foreign petroleum suppliers
Decreased oil demand also lowers supply prices.
Hess Gasoline in Melbourne
Vehicle Efficiency Comparison Prius: Toyota Prius Insight: Honda Insight Civic: Honda Civic Hybrid Escape 2: Ford Escape HEV 2WD Escape 4: Ford Escape HEV 4WD Mustang: Ford Mustang F-150: Ford F-150 Pickup Ford Escape HEV, 2004 NY Auto Show
Hybrid Power Train Technology Series: used for trains, buses, and large trucks where an EM is most efficient for accelerating a large mass. Parallel: used in Honda Insight and Civic hybrid cars. Both ICE and EM can work in tandem, ICE can recharge battery, or braking can recharge. Combination: used in Toyota Prius and Ford Escape hybrids. Allows full electric drive at low speeds and more flexibility in charging.
Technology Continued Panasonic Ni-MH battery Toyota Prius Energy Monitor Ford Economy Monitor
Computer displays provide real-time gas economy performance along with hybrid system diagnostic information.
Ni-MH batteries are currently the energy storage medium of choice, but they will be soon replaced by vastly superior ultra-capacitors.
Current hybrid models have succeeded with seamless integration between the gas and electric components.
To conserve fuel hybrids will shut down the ICE when coasting to a stop and idling. The engine quickly restarts when the brake is released.
The electronic components are transparent to the driver; the onboard computer makes all decisions regarding the power train.
Hybrids are refueled just like regular cars, no charging needed.
Toyota Prius Synergy Hybrid Drive Ford Escape HEV Under-hood
Design Elements Toyota Prius Profile Honda Insight Profile To get the maximum fuel efficiency, the Insight and Prius use generous weight reduction, fluid body styling, and special tires to reduce wind and rolling resistance. The Civic and Escape hybrids keep to traditional styling. All four can be equipped with Continuously Variable Transmissions. Honda Civic Hybrid Profile
Lack of power: most people assume that hybrids have low horsepower and can’t keep up with normal cars. A typical car traveling at 60 mph only requires 20 HP, the rest is for acceleration. Hybrids use ICEs that produce less power, with the EM for compensation during acceleration.
Any new technology is slow to be adopted by the masses, but the surge in hybrid popularity has caused prices to inflate above MSRP sticker. The cost savings on gasoline currently does not offset the initial price, but there is a $2,000 federal tax deduction for 2005 and $500 for 2006.
Repairs on hybrids typically have to be conducted by the dealership, since most mechanics aren’t familiar with the new electrical systems.
The warranty on hybrids is the same as traditional cars, covers all of the new electric components and battery, and is intended to reassure drivers and hold resale values high.
DaimlerChrysler has said that to succeed hybrids must offer dynamic handling and driving pleasure, consume less fuel than a diesel engine, be sold at competitive price, and have a high resale value.
Manufacturers have met every design challenge to make hybrids comfortable and convenient to drive, so the primary goals are to continue improving economy and public reception.
Ten hybrids in 2005 compared with 3 in 2004, so there are more options for consumers.
Hydrogen-fueled hybrids will someday replace gasoline-powered models, with the sole exhaust emission of water vapor. Currently General Motors is sponsoring a US Postal Service demo in Washington, DC of fuel cell vans.