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Hybrid Electric Vehicles

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HEV (Hybrid Electric Vehicles) the next generation of transportation The newest innovation in the automotive world is the hybrid electric vehicle (HEV). The need for these vehicles was brought on by emissions and pollution. The hybrid electric vehicle provides a solution to those standards. The hybrid vehicle works similarly to a standard gasoline car, but its use of electric creates less fuel consumption and fewer harmful chemicals that save money. To understand the gasoline saving solution and comprehension of how the hybrid electric vehicle works is explained. Microprocessors and power sources are the main backbone for hybrids. Hybrid vehicles are gasoline powered cars with the assistance of a battery powered electric motor (I need two know 1). Two motors sit side-by-side (one gasoline powered, one battery powered) under the hood of the car. However, the gasoline engine is still the primary source. Both motors can simultaneously turn the transmission (Puglia 2). To make both motors work together without conflict, computer chips and processors are used. The hybrid vehicle must have an advanced computer, which will inspect the motor and power conditions of the vehicle at all times and determine the power source to be used; the computer also tells the generator when to recharge the battery (Puglia 2). Obviously, the battery has to recharge at some point in time. The electric motor on hybrid cars acts not only as power source but also as a generator to recharge the batteries (Puglia 1). Frank Puglia explains, “In order to accelerate the car, the motor draws energy from the batteries; when the car slows down, the motor returns energy to the batteries, acting as a generator” (Puglia 2). Two important technologies used on hybrid vehicles are the brakes and transmission. The most interesting feature of the transmission is how it can take power from both engine sources at the same time. According to autoalliance.org, “ Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV) are an evolutionary new power train that utilizes a battery powered electric motor, a gasoline internal combustion engine, and a concept known as regenerative braking” (HEV 1). The evolutionary new power train is especially present in the transmission. The transmission is a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), which eliminates the need for automatic or manual transmissions (Puglia 2). This transmission provides the capability of both power sources to work simultaneously. Next to the specialized transmission, regenerative braking is also new hybrid vehicle technology. The idea is when the brakes are applied; kinetic energy is used to create electricity that can be stored in the batteries for later use by the electric motor. In addition, Frank Puglia tells us, “In hybrid models that come with regenerative braking, the brake pads may last a little longer than those in gas-only cars” (Puglia 2). The (CVT) transmission and regenerative braking are key factors in making the hybrid electric vehicle possible. Many technological factors play a key role in the hybrid electric vehicle. Although that may be true, people have to like the interior cosmetics of the car, styling being one of the biggest factors. The interior styling and amenities are very similar for all hybrids, although amenities and styling are manufacturer specific. The only major difference is a display unit that is present in the dashboard, similar to that of an LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) (Puglia 2). This LCD provides information to the driver about the vehicle. For example, the screen will say if it is using the gasoline motor, the electric motor, or both. In addition, the vehicle’s fuel economy displays on the LCD to the driver (Puglia 2). Many drivers use this amenity to their advantage by changing their driving style to maximize their fuel economy (Puglia 2). Today many hybrid vehicles are manufactured daily. The newest member to the hybrid team is the Ford Escape Hybrid. “2005 Escape Hybrid … The world’s first hybrid SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle)” (Puglia 4). The escape hybrid is a premier SUV hybrid that is a first, but because it is a hybrid, its biggest advantage is a lot better gas mileage than that of any SUV (Puglia 4). According to autoalliance.org, the Escape Hybrid will be capable of traveling over 500 miles on a single tank of fuel (HEV 1). According to Ford Motor Company, their electric motor will be capable of taking the car all the way to twenty-five MPH (Escape Hybrid 1). Ford Motor Company also claims that their new hybrid member will be expected to be certified as an (AT-PZEV) Advanced Technology – Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (Escape Hybrid 2). Accordingly, that means the Escape hybrid should be able to pass any emissions test enabling it to be driven nearly anywhere. Aside from the all-new Escape Hybrid, the Toyota Prius is also available for sale. The Toyota Prius has been on the market for a while and has proven itself one of the better hybrids. Toyota claims the engine they build in their hybrid car will produce about 90 percent fewer emissions than a comparable gasoline engine (HEV1). Autoalliance.org says Toyota’s 2004 Prius can accelerate to 60 MPH in about 10 seconds and still average an estimated 55 MPG fuel economy rating (HEV 2). At 55 miles per gallon, I could not imagine anyone looking for anything more powerful. Many of today’s manufacturers produce hybrid vehicles. Lexus, Saturn, Honda, and Chevrolet are planning sport utility hybrids in the next 2 years (I need to know 2). Many choices are present for hybrid vehicles, making something available for everyone. When purchasing a new hybrid vehicle, most people want to know some of the benefits. Many people do not realize that tax breaks are available with all hybrid vehicles. According to Frank Puglia, “The government is offering federal tax breaks to buyers of hybrids through 2006, some states also offer state tax breaks for hybrid buyers” (Puglia 4). A tax break is definitely there; just make sure you file for it. Automotivealliance.org says, “The amount of tax break depends on the year you file and tax bracket you are in” (I need to know 1). Tax breaks are one advantage, although pollution reduction is a bigger issue. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) fuel economy ratings are lead by hybrid vehicles such as the Honda Insight that gets 68 miles per gallon (Puglia 3). Depending on the hybrid you purchase, they all have about half the amount of that of the gasoline engine (Puglia 3). Finally, the maintenance and up keep is probably the main concern with all car buyers. Frank Puglia explains, “The motors and batteries require no more maintenance than a standard engine” (Puglia 2). The maintenance, tax breaks, and pollutions solutions are three great reasons for the purchase of a new hybrid vehicle. The hybrid electric vehicle provides many advantages over that of the standard gasoline engine. The pollution solutions, many manufactured types, as well as low maintenance makes hybrids exceed regular gasoline powered vehicles by far. The hybrid electric vehicle is the future of transportation because it solves our problems to pollution and fuel consumption.

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