Hybrid Vehicles

Is there a market for Hybrid Vehicles in the United States? The problem is compelling. When gas prices shot up last year averaging about $3.76 a gallon, everyone was looking to save at the pumps. Car makers were selling lots of compact cars. America’s vehicles were getting smaller.

Then the opposite happened. Gas prices started to fall and Americans went back to buying Ford F150’s and powerful full size SUV’s. The car markers and dealerships had the problem of lots of compact vehicles and some Hybrid Vehicles on their lots and no buyers.

So what are the car makers to do? What about consumers? Do we have to guess at what the market will bring? Will there be another “cash for clunker program”?

Well the answer is we have to be savvy buyers. We are going to have to ask ourselves how big of a vehicle do we want? Do we buy compact, subcompact, SUV, hybrid, or even truck?

What we ultimately would like are larger vehicles that uses less fuel. Oh yes, but not at the expense of giving up on power or reliability.

Fortunately technology is addressing this issue and the answer is in Hybrid vehicles and cleaner burning diesel cars and trucks.

What is a hybrid vehicle? Well it is any vehicle that combines two or more sources of power that can directly or indirectly provide propulsion power to act in unison or independently of each other.Wow that’s a mouthful. Basically it can if it would like to, do two things at the same time.

Hybrid vehicles have very sophisticated electric motors and generators that are used to produce electrical power.The electric motor in the units use batteries which are used to draw energy to accelerate the car or truck. But acting as a generator, it can also slow the car down and return energy back to the batteries.

So it can give and take when it is asked to.

The unit has periodic engine shut off – when the car is stopped in traffic, the engine is temporarily shut off. It restarts automatically when put back into gear either by stepping on the accelerator or releasing the clutch.

Hybrid Vehicles utilize things like a sleeker body style. Thinner tires,lighter composites all to reduce the weight and drag to bring better fuel mileage and save energy.

There are really two kinds of gasoline hybrids. The parallel hybrid and the series hybrid.
In a parallel hybrid vehicle, a gasoline engine and an electric motor blend together to move the vehicle. Basically doing two things at the same time.

In a series hybrid the gasoline engine either directly powers an electric motor that powers the vehicle or charges batteries that will power the motor. Basically doing only one thing at a time.

The automobile industry as a whole has a new and vital role in implementing changes as to how it is going to continue to make vehicles. We can see sweeping changes happening each and every year as the EPA keeps forcing the industry to cut emissions. Consumers are always looking for better fuel economy and better performance. Buyers are now starting to “think green” when purchasing vehicles are and stressing for more ways to bring a lighter environmental impact on our fragile world.

The good news is that the automobile industries are developing newer technologies and addressing each and every avenue to bring consumers what the want.

As we continue to move on into the new decade we will start to see things like solar panels built into the top of cars keeping them cool as they are parked. Solar panels in the headlights and taillights will help recharge the hybrid batteries.

The future of the automobile industry as well as the economy will remain a mystery for now. However our technological advances in making superior energy efficient vehicles are mind boggling. As we keep coming up with new ideas and better ways to improve on itself. It is an exciting time to see the changes occurring and we can look forward to seeing marked improvements in all phases of fuel economy and conservation.

Keep “Thinking Green” my friends

What is an Electric Vehicle Conversion Specialist

Electric vehicle conversion refers to the modification of a conventional internal combustion engine or the ICR driven vehicle to one that is battery electric propulsion, thus creating a battery electric vehicle.

The career outlook for an Electric Vehicle Conversion Specialist is good. They make on average $39-$59 thousand a year. Electric vehicles are quickly becoming a mainstay in the auto arena.

Many major automobile manufacturers in the US have started performing ICE conversions, but due to lack of consumer demand, the programs had been terminated. However, a few re-builders specializing in electric car conversion have started offering new or remanufactured conversion to satisfy the limited demand. One major reason for the rather low demand is the high price of completed vehicles, which can double the price of a comparable ICE vehicle.

Why It’s Green

People who have owned and used electric vehicles points out that the ranges of these cars are adequate, and that it is more convenient to simply plug the car for charging rather than driving to get some gas. Aside from these, electric vehicles are also quiet if not totally silent and they are non-polluting because they use renewable energy rather than gas, which produces air pollutants.

Professional and Personal Qualities

Generally, people without experience or modest knowledge in mechanics and electrical devices should not attempt to maintain or operate a ‘home made’ electric vehicle.

A career as Electric Vehicle Conversion Specialist is hard to come by in most states due to the lack of demand for electric vehicles. But in some places, and where companies manufacture electric vehicles, an electric car conversion specialist may be highly demanded.

Skills and Trainings

If you are planning to become an electric vehicle conversion specialist, you need a wide range of skills to be able to perform your duties. For instance, you’d need to have knowledge on automobile surveying and be able to identify problems in potential conversion vehicles. Such skill will be required to identify and purchase a good used ICE vehicle and will come handy especially when the conversion is done by another builder.

Aside from that, basic mechanics knowledge is also required as a builder should be able to manufacture small brackets for mounting sensors, switches and relays. Some other required skills and training for would-be electric car conversion specialists should include machine shop skills, welding, automotive mechanics, basic electric skills, as well as basic electronic skills.

7 Tips to Know Before You Buy a Hybrid Vehicle

With gas prices on the rise, everyone is trying to conserve fuel. This is leading to an increased interest in hybrid cars, which are fast becoming a very popular option for many different types of people. Before you decide to buy a hybrid vehicle, you need to know the basics of their operation, the cost to buy one as well as the costs involved to maintain on of these newer types of cars.

1- It is important to note that on average a hybrid vehicle will cost around $3,000 more than its all gas counterpart will. While most people will weigh this price increase against the price of the gas that they will be saving, it can cause a pretty severe case of sticker shock. Be prepared for this if you are shopping for a hybrid.

2- Just like conventional vehicles, hybrid cars need a battery to run. While a traditional battery will cost approximately $50-$150 to replace, a battery for a hybrid car costs considerably more, about $2,000-$3,000 and those prices are just for starters. With this in mind, it is important to know that hybrid batteries have been known to run between 8 and 10 years before needing to be replaced.

3- If you are sitting on the edge of making a decision of whether to buy a hybrid vehicle or it is more traditional counterpart, you may be interested to know that the government may allow a tax deduction to those people who choose to purchase the more fuel-efficient hybrids. While this deduction is not guaranteed from one year to the next, it has been as high as $2,000 in the past.

4- Another consideration to buying a hybrid vehicle that needs to be addressed is the maintenance that needs to take place after the car has been on the road for a while. The more intricate power train systems that accompany a hybrid equate to higher prices, this is because there are not as many mechanics that are trained to fix them. This price consideration should pretty much go away as more of these vehicles hit the road and the demand for properly trained mechanics goes up.

5- These cars require the use of special high mile tires, they are smaller than the tires you are used to purchasing, but can cost considerably more to replace. This may be acceptable to some drivers since the tires last on average 30,000 miles longer than other types of vehicle tires.

6- Many purchasers of hybrid vehicles do so for one reason, they can live with the increases in aftermarket parts and the high prices of mechanics because they know what their car can offer them, fuel savings. On average, a hybrid car gets between 50 miles per gallon (MPG) in the city and up to 70 MPG on the highway. When these numbers are compared to an average of 30 MPG city and 27 MPG highway on a fuel-efficient gas car, the savings are clear.

7- While it is important to know the costs that are involved when you decided to buy a hybrid vehicle, it is also important to know what you will be saving. For all of the millions of people all over the world, who choose a hybrid over a traditional the bottom line is clear. The savings that they see at the gas pump far outweighs any money that will need to be paid out to keep their vehicle running in the future.