Are Hybrid Cars Financially Sensible?

512px-Toyota_PriusThere are several types of hybrid cars available in the current market, in different body styles. These vehicles are a popular choice because of their fuel efficiency, coupled with low emissions. So, are hybrid cars a perfect option for you? For you to answer this question, you’ll need to consider a number of factors such as your financial situation, environmental priorities, and driving habits. Although the prices of gas are low today, they are subject to changing fast. Owning a hybrid car somewhat protects you from unexpected hikes in the prices of gas. This is a good reason to purchase a hybrid car when on a stringent budget.

Even in a scenario where the prices of gas don’t increase abruptly, you still manage to make savings on the costs of fuel when you drive a hybrid car. Your total gas savings increase when you drive for longer distances. The cost of the hybrid car itself is another factor to consider. For most hybrid cars, there is a premium that customers are required to pay, regardless of whether they are purchasing a compact vehicle or a large-sized SUV. This implies that you will need to save more money for the initial down payment. There is a possibility of facing huge monthly payments, as well as registration and insurance fees. It is therefore advisable to check and confirm these figures before purchasing a hybrid car.

Depending on your residence, governmental incentives are available for hybrid cars. This differs from one state to the other, as well as in various countries. Hence, you need to get accurate information from governmental offices concerning the incentives offered. Remember to also check the hybrid’s warranty and its relationship to the battery life. While some companies give lifetime warranties, others offer limited ones. If a battery fails after warranty period, clients will incur huge costs for replacement.

Another great reason for purchasing a hybrid car isn’t related to saving money. Rather, this car will help you to save time. In many regions, electric and hybrid car owners are allowed to utilize the carpool lane, regardless of the number of drivers. This is greatly beneficial to those with a rough commute. This saves time, a valuable asset in the current busy world. Purchasing a plug-in hybrid car means that you will get a parking space close to doors of office buildings, airports, and even malls. With a plug-in hybrid, you depend less on gasoline engine since the battery can be recharged from a station using electricity.

 

Leave a Comment July 29, 2016

Volkswagen to Produce Electric Cars by 2020 in North America

IAA_2013_Volkswagen_e-Golf_(9834814356)The reputation of Volkswagen has been compromised in the last few months. As an attempt to redeem itself, the automaker has announced its plan to produce electric vehicles by the year 2020 in North America. The newly appointed Volkswagen AG’s U.S. head of operations, Hinrich Woebcken officially confirmed that the automaker’s Chattanooga, Tennessee-based plant, as well as a Mexico-based facility may be utilized for production purposes. Although Woebcken didn’t give in-depth details, he confirmed that the car manufacturer plans to build multiple models.

From a political point of view, it would be wise to use the factory at Chattanooga considering the fact that Unites States regulators have been pushing for the manufacture of more electric cars. Woebcken said to the Wall Street Journal that they all believed that United States, particularly its urban mobility is likely to shift to electric and hybrid cars from petrol engines. A heavy investment has been made to enable the shift in question, and this is inclusive of the planned production in the North American region.

The intent of Volkswagen to produce electric cars is not really news. Prior to the scandal of Dieselgate, the automaker already had plans for introducing twenty plug-in hybrids and all-electric car by 2020. The automaker claimed that the planned vehicles would be dubbed “smartphones on wheels.” The announcement was then followed by CEO Matthias Muller’s notice last month that the company planned to launch at least thirty fully electric new cars by the year 2025. Currently, there are only three battery-electric vehicles offered by Volkswagen. These cars are Audi’s R8 e-tron, e-Golf and VW e-Up. Introducing thirty different models within a time span of ten years would seem a virtually impossible challenge for the automaker.

Efforts to minimize greenhouse gas emissions should begin with increasing the efficiency of transportation. Electric vehicles have overwhelming advantages over gasoline cars. Therefore the move by Volkswagen to increase electric car production will result in significant savings in terms of costs and environment. The use of all-electric power to drive short distances plays a significant role in reducing gasoline consumption. Electric vehicles don’t utilize gasoline whatsoever and they also release zero emissions when renewable sources of energy are used for recharging.

Whatever the actual figure is, producing electric cars on the mentioned Atlantic side of America will play a vital role in clearing the air for Volkswagen to progress. It would also be a great addition to the e-Golf, Volkswagen’s only electric car currently sold in the United States.

 

Leave a Comment July 29, 2016

Lesser Known Truths about Hybrid and Electric Car Myths

'12_Mitsubishi_i_MiEV_(MIAS_'12)Currently, the range of powertrains available for buyers in the market is quite wide. There are plug-in hybrids, gas-electric, pure electrics, hybrids, as well as fuel-cell cars such as the Toyota Mirai. Every purchaser has the freedom of choosing a car that suits them and their families. However, statistics have shown that Toyota Prius leads the pack as the model that is most preferred by consumers. There are some misconceptions that usually hold back some consumers from purchasing electric or hybrid vehicles.

The first one is that electric and hybrid cars are more costly in comparison to gasoline-powered vehicles. This isn’t true because there are some electric cars that do not fall within the premium-price range. For instance, Mitsubishi’s Smart For Two and iMiEV have a price range that falls within the mid-twenty thousands. It has also been noted that the cost difference between internal combustion and electric vehicles is going down gradually with that of gas-fueled models rising.

Another myth that has misled many consumers is that the batteries for hybrids and electric cars don’t last for more than three years. This is a false assumption since the electric and hybrid car batteries are made to last an equal time as the vehicles themselves, with some even lasting longer. Another myth to take note of is that hybrids and other green cars are only suitable for cities and for summers. Despite the fact that electric cars tend take a range hit during the winter season when the battery capacity is reduced by low temperatures, they remain a great option for customers or drivers residing in colder regions. It has been reported that electric vehicles utilize their energy better that gasoline-fueled cars.

Most people also hold the misconception that they can’t drive these cars for a distance exceeding 60 miles without having to plug them in. This is a fallacy since improvements that have been made in the battery technology have played a key role in improving electric car performance. An increasing number of electric vehicles can go for even up to 186 miles in poor conditions. Another misconception people should be aware of is that hybrids and electrics cause more pollution. One of the most controversial topics has been regarding the greenness of the plug-in cars. The fact is that all electric cars are more environmental friendly compared to their internal combustion counterparts. From the pollution reduction point of view, plug-in cars are still at the forefront. Finally, while most people assume that green cars are poor performers, this isn’t factual.

 

 

Leave a Comment July 22, 2016

A First Drive Review of 2017’s Honda Accord Hybrid

Honda_ACCORD_(CU1&CR6)_frontAfter its debut in 2014 to 2015 followed by a year 2016, dealers will get a revamped Accord Hybrid in 2017. The major competitors of this Honda model include Toyota Camry, Ford Fusion, Chevrolet Malibu and Hyundai Sonata. Despite this strong competition, Honda still manages to remain at the top in terms of horsepower and EPA mpg. It also matches up to its competitors with respect to key specifications in areas such as ride, comfort, interior space, and acceleration. Considering its positioning as quite a range topper, Honda’s Accord hybrid hasn’t managed to outdo Ford’s Fusion Hybrid when it comes to the main market share.

The 2017 version, which has a highway range of 47 mpg, a city range of 49 mpg, and a combined range of 48 mpg is slightly more efficient compared to 2015’s version. The latter version had a rating of 45 mpg highway, 49 mpg city and a combined range of 50 mpg. It is also expected that the new version will have a launch time of as low as 7 seconds for the 0 to 60 mph. According to Honda’s executives, the production of this model in the U.S market will be doubled to about 30,000 in 2017 from approximately 14,000 cars in 2015.

Several changes have been made to the new model to increase its efficiency. For instance, a new design had been given to the front suspension in order to balance the control and bump compliance. To further enhance a sure-footed feeling, the new model has revamped power steering assistance. This makes it easy make corners through meandering hills with minimal roll.

The new Accord hybrid has several similarities with the conventional model in the main specifications. It is large enough to accommodate four passengers including their luggage comfortably. Even five passengers can still fit in the car reasonably. To mark the car’s electric heritage, there are light blue tints at the front part a hybrid label and rear lamps. Only minor alterations have been made to the car’s interior display monitors.

Regarding its feature content and accessories, base Accord is quite similar to the Accord EX trim, a non-hybrid counterpart. All hybrid Accords have a sensing package comprising of radar-based features such as Lane Keeping Assist, Lane Departure Warning, Active Control Cruise, Collision Mitigation Braking, and Forward Collision Breaking. Honda’s Accord hybrid tops the chart with its high EPA Mileage accounted for by a powertrain that uses a clutch, double electric motor, and a fixed gear rather than the traditional Continuously Variable Transmission or multi-speed between the wheels and the engine.

 

Leave a Comment July 22, 2016

Auto Insurance Available for Hybrid Vehicles at Low Costs Online

car-insurance-keyboard-crop-600x338A blog post had been released by the website, lowcostcarinsuranceprice.com giving an explanation on how to purchase hybrid vehicles’ auto insurance cheaply. The general popularity of hybrid cars is increasing, pushing for the need to have affordable insurance rates. Although it can be expensive to insure a hybrid car, the car’s high safety rating, fuel efficiency, and general functionality offer great compensation. Even when the prices are quite steep, purchasing a hybrid vehicle helps the environment, as well as other numerous advantages. This information was presented in a newly revealed blog post. One of the merits of a hybrid car is that of having high cost efficiency. This is most likely a key attractive feature of these cars. A hybrid vehicle can help drivers to save on the cost of fuel, since it can operate on both electricity and gasoline. This feature is also particularly beneficial for long-distance drivers.

Instant torque, regenerative braking system and availability of tax incentives are other noteworthy advantages. You must be wondering how to get yourself low priced auto insurance for your hybrid car. You can easily find one by visiting insurance websites that provide several insurance offers that you can use for your hybrid cars. Some insurance websites give several auto insurance quotes from different insurance companies. These websites are insurance brokers who send the information you provide to several different insurance companies and then give you the results. This can be a beneficial and easy way to get many quotes without having to go to the separate websites such as Farmers, Allstate, GEICO, etc.

Drivers who make comparisons of various auto insurance quotes are highly likely to get reduced coverage expenses. It has been found that exploring different coverage can help you save up to twenty-five percent on premiums. According to the Internet Marketing Company’s Marketing Director, Rusell Rabichev, hybrid vehicles are currently more popular compared to gasoline cars. If you have a plan on purchasing one, ensure that you’ve compared different auto insurance quotes that you can get from websites. This will help you land on offers that are advantageous to your budget.

Lowcostcarinsuranceprice.com and websites like them play the role of providing home, life, auto insurance, and health quotes. These websites are extraordinary since they doesn’t rely on a single type of insurance provider. Rather, it gives customers the best deals from several insurance carriers. This allows clients to access offers available from multiple carriers within a similar location. On the site, clients can access insurance plan quotes from different agencies including nationwide or local agencies as well as insurance company brand names.

 

Leave a Comment July 15, 2016

Quick Sales for Used Electric Cars

While new electric car sales have remained relatively stagnant, the sale of used electric vehicles are gradually increasing. The lowered prices of such cars account for the increased attractiveness to consumers. Used electric vehicles are clearly moving much faster compared to the standard gasoline-fueled vehicles. These findings were obtained from a study highlighted at iSeeCars.com website. This study considered the time that these used cars remained on dealer lots. About 2.2 million used vehicles were included in this study. The vehicles were less than 3-years old with the sale period being January to May, 2016. Among the ten top-selling used vehicles, two of them were hybrids, two battery-electric cars, and a plug-in vehicle.

Also, the average costs of these vehicles reduced faster compared to the prices of gasoline-fueled vehicles. Over the study period, the average time that electric cars remained on market was 29.2 days with the price dropping by 15.2 percent in comparison to the same time in 2015. Comparatively, gasoline-fueled cars remained on dealership lots for approximately 42.5 days with the prices dropping by only one percent. For plug-in hybrids, the price decrease was 5.1 percent with the average time they remained on the market being 40.7 days. Hybrid cars stayed on market for an average of 38.2 sales and their prices went down by 3.7 percent compared to last year.

The fastest used-car seller was Toyota’s Prius plug in, which stayed on market for an average of 19.7 days. Within the same period last year, the Prius remained under dealership for approximately 38.1 days. This is a clear indication that the demand of the car has increased. Most of Prius sales were recorded in California, despite the fact that it no longer distributes green stickers granting authorization for solo carpool-lane use to plug-ins or hybrids. This information was confirmed by Phong Ly, the CEO of iSeeCars.com. The access to high-occupancy car lane has for a long time attracted California residents who have to tolerate jammed rush-hour highways.

Several years down the line, a study conducted to investigate the importance of carpool-lane stickers on used hybrids indicated that around $1,500 was added to the sticker alone to the car’s overall value. A comparable second-hand model that lacked this sticker was cheaper. The second and third best second-hand car sellers were Nissan’s Leaf and Tesla’s Model S, which stayed for about 24.3 days and 26.1 days respectively on market. The 7th and 8th fastest sellers were Lexus’ CT 200h and Toyota’s Highlander. The lower costs of these cars indicate that it is the best time to purchased used hybrid, electric or plug-in hybrids.

 

Leave a Comment July 15, 2016

Plug-in Cars as the Best Second-hand Car Bargains

640px-Toyota_PHEV_Tokyo_09_2008_(1)You have probably been eyeing a newly launched plug-in hybrid or battery electric car only to be turned off by its price. If so, it would be great to consider exploring your options in the market for used cars. The cost of electric and hybrid, as well as plug-in cars that have been used for 1-3 years has gone down over the last few years. This has made them the best and hottest selling deals around. The approximate price of a new electric vehicle goes down by $3,830 annually with a used vehicle. On the contrary, the traditional gasoline vehicles have dropped by just $242 over the same period. This figure was reported in a study conducted by iSeeCars.com, a second-hand car aggregator.

The Chief Executive Officer of iSeeCars.com said that the used vehicle market may have finally reached its sweet spot with the prices having dropped enough to increase the desirability of these cars. The general population is currently inclined towards second hand vehicles. The lease incentives given by automakers have been lucrative, which has further contributed to the rising figure of used plug-in cars. It implies that the majority of the second-hand plug-in cars in the market qualify for the used car programs offered by automakers. This further makes the deal better.

For instance, the price of a used Nissan Leaf is about half of the original retail price of $30,000. This price is inclusive of a federal rebate incentive of $7,500. A study incorporating more than 2.2 million close-to-new vehicles gave the estimate retail price of a second-hand Leaf as $12,533. The study also reported that out of the ten fastest selling second-hand cars, five of them are plug-in hybrid or electric car models. Toyota Prius was stated as the fastest mover with a sale made in less than 20 days. This is twice the selling speed of a standard second-hand vehicle.

The second fastest seller is Nissan’s Leaf electric vehicle, which took around 24 days to sell. The third seller is Tesla’s Model S that took about 26 days to sell. Other notable fast movers are Lexus CT200H and Toyota’s Highlander Hybrid. The findings obtained are a clear indication that the green car market is gaining popularity. Many people are now choosing green cars instead of traditional gasoline cars. Consumers willing to jump onto the plug-in, electric or hybrid bandwagon have a chance to purchase one at an affordable cost. Used green cars are evidently a great option.

 

Leave a Comment July 8, 2016

Chevrolet’s 2016 Malibu Hybrid

640px-Chevrolet_Malibu_Hybrid_DCBuyers are shifting from sedans to crossovers, a move that has dropped the market’s car share from 50 to 43 percent within only three years. If the cost of standard gasoline increases to more than $3.60 per gallon, these defectors may again settle for a family sedan that is more fuel-efficient. General Motors used its sharpest engineering tools and brightest minds to slice off close to three hundred pounds from its Malibu. This car falls in the mid-sized category with respect to space for cargo and passengers. For the hybrid model, four cubic feet of trunk space is sacrificed to create room for the battery pack and an intact interior compartment.

The Malibu hybrid will have a retail price of $28,645, with its interior having diamond-pattern upholstery. To add to modern assists and safety alerts, there is a Driver Confidence package worth $1195 as well as Technology and Convenience package costing $895. There’s a center display screen of 7.0-inch and some electric frills like 110-volt current outlet and wireless charging pad. Chipping in a red paint job of $395 dollars coupled with the sticker raises to the retail price to a reasonable $31,130.

Learning from lessons acquired, Malibu hybrid has some components similar to those of the Chevrolet Volt. General Motors incorporates a Voltec drive, a nut combining two electric generators, two clutches, a power inverter, hydraulic control system, planetary gearsets, and hydraulic control system. All these components are confined within aluminum housing. The horsepower of this hybrid car has a capacity of 1.8 liters. Although it is primarily composed of cast iron, there are modern features like variable valve timing, direct injection, as well as roller cam followers to increase the engine’s efficiency.

Driving the Malibu hybrid is a great experience. It shifts through four different hybrid modes and doesn’t use a drone or ruckus. Its execution is exemplary, giving it a feel of a third or even fourth generation drivetrain. It is quite difficult to figure out whether it is the electric motors or engine giving a large portion of propulsion torque. The fully electric range doesn’t exceed five miles using a Hitachi battery pack of 1.5-kWh. Regenerative braking can be increased by changing the transmission lever to L2 from L1 though the difference is hardly noticeable. During the shift to friction-based deceleration from electric braking, the change is insignificant. Basically, the key mission of the Malibu hybrid is fuel efficiency. Its 35 mpg still outcompeted most of the mid-sized hybrids tested.

 

Leave a Comment July 8, 2016

Global Plug-in Hybrid Sales Cross the 1.5M Mark

The global sales of light-duty electric vehicles went past the 1.5 million mark in May, with a further increase expected in the future. Taking into account the entire plug-in car fleet from the year 2004, the actual count may be close to one million, five hundred and ten thousand units through May. Approximately 45,000 are likely to be sold in June. This means that this month, the count may hit 1.555 million. A remarkable fact is that it took more than ten years for the global tally to reach 1.28 million. About 220,000 plug-in electric cars were sold just between January and May.

In May 2014, about 500,000 electric cars were reported, while in September 2015, about one million plug-in electric cars were reported. The growth rate is higher compared to that of hybrid cars. This is because plug-in electrics are built on a foundation set by the initial electrified vehicles. The market is however quite small since the number of light duty cars on the current roads across the globe is approximately one billion.

China is this year’s highest selling and fastest growing market. In terms of cumulative sales, however, the United States is still the leader. Between January and May, about 82,713 units were purchased in China exclusive of imported plug-in cars like those from BMW and Tesla. About 51,893 units were purchased by the U.S with smaller players accounting for the remaining sales. Notable purchasers include the U.K, Norway, Japan, and France. In 2014, California’s sales surpassed those of China, and since March about 205,369 units.

From a statistical perspective, when beginning from scratch, it is not surprising to note comparatively huge percentage increases. Plug-in electric cars just came out of the infancy stage based on automotive standards. The good news is that regardless of the cheap gas prices, low consumer enthusiasm, and pushback from many sources, things seem to be moving toward the right direction.

The models and makes of battery electric and plug-in hybrid cars have increased across the globe. The selection in Europe alone is two times that of the United States. To further help things, a battery electric car that will cost less than forty thousand dollars with a range of more than two hundred miles is scheduled for release this year. Different car manufacturers have promised to release new models. Plug-in hybrid cars are seen as an excellent way of improving fuel emission scores and adhere to regulation standards. Hence, the sales of PEVs have proven to increase over time with a strong foothold being set.

 

Leave a Comment June 30, 2016

Going Electric All the Way with the BMW i8 Hybrid Plug-In

BMW_i8_hybridThe first division at BMW is striving hard to create a sports car i8 model that can act as a secret prototype and remain powered by a battery. This is a move that is anticipated to result in increased efficiency such that the earlier coupe model can transition from being a plug-in hybrid into a fully electric car in the future. Autocar, which is one of the leading British publications when it comes to matters of automobiles, affirms that the i8 electric model is being placed under scrutiny where the division of its fiber structure that it made from carbon can be used in developing an i8 model that is superior when it comes to fuelling. Further, the improvement of the BMW i8 model is also expected to include a center tunnel that is wider than normal.

This means that the resulting structure can have the potential of enabling the replacement of fuel tanks that contain hydrogen gas. Moreover, this space can also be beneficial as it can provide additional room for batteries running the car. This concept has been born out of the fact that the space within the center tunnel that is now wider can allow more batteries to be placed as opposed to the gas tanks. This idea has also been supported by experts working for the BMW Company as well. It is through this same automobile transformation that the new i8 prototype can be powered using alternate means where the batteries replace the contemporary use of gas. Through this approach, the BMW i8 model can become fully electric since the batteries can be charged at any moment. This in turn increases the horsepower where the usual value of 268hp can be raised to almost 357hp.

The upgrading of the BMW i8 prototype can also be enhanced by placing the batteries at strategic points such that the internal speed of the vehicle also reaches an all-time high. The fact that the BMW car model is known to have engines that have a combustion ability that is high, means that elevating them to become fully electric can also add value to its efficiency and performance. The testing of this improved BMW i8 prototype is currently going on in Germany along some of the well-known streets in Munich. The results are meant to evaluate the level of e-safety based on the reinforcements that have already been made. These changes to the powertrain are speculated to result in an automobile whose horsepower will be boosted significantly.

 

Leave a Comment June 30, 2016

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