Hybrid Cars - Alternative Energy

Hybrid cars have increased in popularity as of late.Nows the time to support alternative energy solutions and technologies.

Hybrid Cars - Alternative Energy


"Hybrid Nation"

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Frankenstein Hybrid

New York -

I've lived through all the hype about automotive miracles, such as the 100-miles-per-gallon carburetor, the modern steam car, the modern electric car, fuel cells and hydrogen cars. Billions of dollars have been spent searching for a car that doesn't use gasoline, or at least much gasoline.

This brings me to the latest bit of wizardry that some are promoting as an answer to all our problems: the plug-in hybrid.

Gas-electric hybrids have been on the market for several years. A hybrid is a vehicle with two propulsion systems: one regular internal-combustion motor and one or more battery-powered electric motors, which can drive the car for short distances or give the internal-combustion engine an assist during acceleration.

Now there's talk of something else, a plug-in hybrid. The idea is to give the vehicle additional battery power, which will allow it to run longer and farther on less gasoline. Today's Toyota Motor (nyse: TM - news - people ) Prius hybrid starts out under battery power only but switches to its gasoline engine when it reaches 15 to 20 miles per hour. A plug-in, on the other hand, might run 20 or more miles on battery power alone. Of course, to get this extra range requires additional batteries, which drivers can recharge off the electric grid. Hence the name "plug-in."

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