High fuel prices are back and are slowing our economy’s growth, eating into businesses’ profit margins and sapping household discretionary budgets. Today, consumers have a range of options for buying hybrid or even electric vehicles to help reduce their fuel costs. But businesses are far behind consumers in their adoption rate of hybrid vehicles. However, high
In the race to save the environment, one of the most important things is reducing greenhouse gas emissions to lessen the global carbon footprint. One of the biggest ways to achieve this is to look for alternative options when it comes to transportation. Cars are required to get from one place to another, so the question is how to make them more
As the electric vehicle market expands, the biggest names in automobile manufacturing are drawn towards adapting some of their latest models to the plug instead of gasoline. While Japan has had little issue with creating entire lines of hybrid and electric vehicles, some of
The Chinese auto industry will make development and production of electric and hybrid vehicles its top priority over the next five years, according to its latest Five-year Plan. By 2015, China aims to sell 1 million “new-energy” automobiles, according to a report in People’s Daily.
Mazda will introduce a subcompact gas-powered vehicle in Japan next year that gets 70.5 miles per gallon, a model automakers say shows that combustion-powered cars can deliver fuel efficiency similar to hybrid vehicles. With a more efficient engine and transmission, and a frame and suspension system produced with lighter, high-tensile steel, the
Honda is now offering a $500 rebate to customers who purchased a Civic Hybrid between 2003-2007 but aren’t happy with the gas mileage they are getting. This offer, which must be used towards the purchase of a new Honda (alternatively you can take $100 cash) is the result of a lawsuit by musician and disgruntled Honda Civic Hybrid (HCH) owner John True. True said he was only able to achieve 32 miles per gallon on his vehicle.
I know this story well as I am a former HCH owner, having purchased one in 2003. I similarly didn’t achieve the EPA’s estimated MPG that is required by law to be the only mileage quoted in advertising by the car companies.
Converting hybrid vehicles — particularly the Prius and Ford Escape — into plug-in hybrids has become a profitable niche industry for a few specialty companies. But the net impact of this new mini-industry has been much greater by influencing consumer and industry opinions.
Promoting the technical feasibility of PHEVs has been a significant factor in the auto manufacturers’ decision to develop the dozens of plug-in and all-electric vehicles now scheduled for delivery in the next five years.
But the earliest and strongest voice promoting PHEVs isn’t happy with that limited success. Felix Kramer, the founder of CalCars.org, says that getting to a million electrified vehicles by 2015 won’t do nearly enough to address climate change and energy independence, and now he’s setting his sights on electrifying internal combustion engine vehicles. He’s clearly on to something.
In recent years a greater emphasis on MPG during car shopping has emerged. Between fluctuating gasoline prices, a broader selection of hybrid vehicles, and the promise of plug-ins and battery electric vehicles, and mandated increases in CAFE standards, fuel economy is becoming an important vehicle characteristic for many consumers.
Makers of ICEs are looking to accentuate the efficiency of many of their “traditional” models to meet federal requirements and better compete with hybrid vehicles. This includes the addition of a turbocharger, which enables manufacturers to use smaller engines while increasing fuel economy by up to 20 percent. Turbochargers reduce emissions as they burn exhaust gas as fuel, and also provide additional power for acceleration.