Archives – January, 2013

Save Gas with the Future Camry Hybrid

Everyone would agree that it would be fascinating if you arrived at your home in the evening and after parking your car, it tells you how excellent or badly you drove your car all day. Regardless of how you drive your Camry hybrid, the car will not insult you, the car will however tell you how excellent your driving was in terms of the fuel efficiency of the car. The car has been designed to give the user some feedback with regard to their fuel mileage per gallon. This can be helpful in case you’re sensitive about the amount of fuel that your vehicle consumes on a daily basis. If your fuel mileage was more than 35 miles per gallon, the screen beside the speedometer will flash out the words “Excellent,” this means that your car was able to utilize fuel in the most efficient manner possible.

The car offers further excellent and personalized user experienced as your drive the vehicle. The car will keep you appraised about how you are doing as you are in transit. There is a big fuel economy dial in the place of a tachometer. The needle of the device will be shifting up and down depending on the amount of fuel that the vehicle will be using over time. When the vehicle is completely using the battery power and no fuel, the needle will shift further down and point at the blue “Eco drive” region. This means that you ought to try maintaining the pointer at the blue region as much as possible. The car also provides an advanced analysis of the fuel consumption of the vehicle. This allows the users to later study the fuel consumption trends and identify areas they can improve on to save fuel.

There are problems that have emerged as a result of the use of this technology. Most people have confessed that these devices can be distracting to the driver as they are on the road. This means that the drivers are more prone to cause accidents as a result of the use of these devices. Aside from the fact that these devices are distracting, driving with the mindset of fuel economy will mean drivers have to drive more cautiously. There is a psychological impact of flashing the words “Excellent” to the driver as they drive. This will in most cases result in the driver driving with more caution next time in order to get the same message. This is a very positive impact because the number of accidents will be significantly reduced.




Leave a Comment January 26, 2013

Future Cars to Power Themselves

According to researchers and most of the road users around the world, a car that is able to generate power simply through the use of material in its roof or door would be a very suitable alternative to most of the eco-friendly motor vehicle solutions in the market today. Scientists at the Imperial College of London have invested their time and resources in a project in collaboration with Volvo. This is a $4.6 billion project that aims at developing new material that can be used in generating and storing electric power that may be used to power the vehicle. This car of the future will be drawing power from the roof, door and even the trunk, thanks to the composite nature of the material that will be used to manufacture the car.

The Nature of the Prototypes

The design of this car is still at its developing stages. The prototype of the project consists of carbon fibers that allow the material of the car to store and discharge significant amounts of energy. When the prototype is plugged into a power supply, it creates a current similar to the one created when connected to a normal battery. This means that the car will be acting as a battery to itself. The material used is a super capacitor. This is similar to the material often used in electrical circuits, which take approximately 10 to 15 seconds to be fully charged. The scientists aim to reduce the weight of the vehicle. This is because more focus on the material means that the manufacturers will have to overlook the weight consideration for the vehicle. This is likely to be a big limiting factor in the long run if not well taken care of in time. Reducing the overall weight of the vehicle will further result in faster speeds and acceleration of the vehicle.

Further Prospects

Researchers are planning to look for alternative material that will effectively replace the metal floor of the vehicle. This will further help in reducing the overall weight. This will in turn increase the acceleration and speed of the vehicle. The current prospects involve making the wheels out of composite material that allows Volvo to reduce the number of batteries that are necessary to power the vehicle. Most of the current hybrid vehicles in the market use a large amount of power from their batteries; this means that they make use of more energy and this requires the users to recharge the batteries often. This can sometimes be very inconvenient for the users.




Leave a Comment January 26, 2013

Save Gas Lose Money

Despite the notion that most people around the world have that owning a hybrid car will eventually reduce the cost incurred in running the vehicle, the truth is that the car is most likely to save you the amount you could have spent on gas while still maintaining high expenditure. A recent study by Consumer Reports shows that most hybrid cars have an additional cost that is generally unknown by most of the users. Such costs include depreciation. One of the other major additional costs to these vehicles is the purchase price of the vehicles. Most of the hybrid cars in the market have relatively higher sticker prices compared to most of the gasoline-powered vehicles in the market. The gas savings have proven that the gap does not cover the gap in prices between these two classes of vehicles. An analysis done on the two types of vehicles shows that hybrid vehicles lose between 2 to 3 percent more value over a period of five years compared to the ordinary gasoline vehicles in the market.

Some Exceptions in the Market

Though the study shows that most of the hybrid vehicles in the market incur significant costs in the long run, there are some hybrid vehicles in the market that have proven this perspective wrong. Factoring in the purchase price, the depreciation of the vehicle, and other costs associated with the vehicle such as insurance, and other financial costs, then the Toyota Prius and the Honda Civic hybrid would be the only exceptions to this theory. These are estimated to have a residual cost of approximately $405 and $315 over the length of about five years. This figure also takes into account the costs of federal tax incentives that are associated with hybrid vehicles. If these costs were not taken into consideration, it would mean that Prius and Honda owners would incur at least $2,700 more than the Corolla buyers would.

Hybrids that Cost More Money

Most of the other hybrid vehicles in the market cost the owners thousands more than their gasoline counterparts over a period of five years. For instance, the Toyota Highlander hybrid car has a cost of $7,185 more compared to the gasoline-powered alternative of the same vehicle. The car also incurs $558 more in sales tax and additional insurance cost of $358 over the five years. The car will also cost an additional $12 in maintenance and repair. The depreciation rate is also higher compared to the regular alternative. This is because the car will lose at least 3.9% more value compared to the alternatives in the market.






Leave a Comment January 19, 2013

Green Cars Starting to Take Root

More people around the planet are finally choosing to use hybrid cars in the place of traditional gasoline powered vehicles. This has prompted most of the car manufacturers around the world to increase their concentration on the manufacture of more efficient hybrid vehicles. This has mostly been driven by the ever increasing cost of fuel and the cheaper cost of technology involved in the manufacture of these vehicles. With the growing acceptance of these vehicles by the world market, their penetration is increasing by the day and analysts say that in the next 20 years there are high chances that the world will be going green.

Significance of this Invention

The invention of hybrid vehicles and their subsequent release into the market is viewed as the most important innovation in the motor vehicle industry in the past century. This innovation is ranked together with the invention of the automatic transmission, which is in most cases was referred to as the self-starting motor. The hybrid vehicles use a combination of two sources of power; these are the standard combustion engine, together with the common car battery. These two are in some models of hybrid cars used interchangeably, while in some cases they are used together and this minimizes the amount of fuel that is consumed by the car. Among the biggest hybrid car manufacturers in the world are Toyota and Honda. These companies manufactured their first hybrid car in the late 1990s. These companies are always trying to compete with each other with regard to producing the latest and most sophisticated cars into the market. It is this competition that has spurred the growth of this industry. Other car manufacturers such as Ford have also dived into this market and are producing very efficient and sophisticated hybrid cars.

The Toyota Hybrids

The Toyota hybrid cars are considered to be among the most popular hybrid cars in the world. The Toyota Prius was the first hybrid car to be released by the company. This opened doors for the release of more vehicles under this name. The Toyota Prius sedan was the first mass-manufactured hybrid vehicle to hit the market. The demand in the United States was so high that waiting lists at car dealers were spanning for months. What sells the cars is the high level of technology that was incorporated in the manufacture of the vehicle. The car is practical and was a result of numerous trials and experiments that resulted in the fantastic piece of machinery. Other players in the market such as Honda and Ford are also joining the market with the release of their own version of hi-tech hybrid cars.




Leave a Comment January 19, 2013

Toyota Sells Affordable Hybrids

With the release of the Toyota Prius hybrid vehicle, the Japanese firm reiterated their promise of offering the most affordable and fuel-efficient vehicle on the planet. The Prius was the first line of vehicle to be produced by the company in the hybrid vehicle category. The vehicle is packed with a powerful lithium-ion battery that is very different from the batteries used by most of the other hybrid vehicles in the market today. The vehicle has a unique edge in that it’s among the few plug in hybrid vehicles in the market. The advantage of a hybrid vehicle is that it is more environmentally friendly. This is because it has been proven to travel longer distances as an electric vehicle. Toyota has been the leader in the production of hybrid vehicles owing to the fact that the government in Japan has created an encouraging environment for their growth with the introduction of incentives that have helped in propelling Toyota up the automobile ladder.

Impressive Gas Mileage

The Toyota plug-in has not been a reserve for Japan despite the high domestic demand. The company has shipped the car to the US, Europe and largely to France. The car is capable of travelling for 23.4 kilometers on a single charge as an electric vehicle. The vehicle additionally gets an extra 57 kilometers a liter. This figure is equivalent to about 135 miles per gallon on average. The plug-in car works efficiently because when the charge of the vehicle runs out, the car reverts to running like the regular hybrids. This is meant to ensure that the car does not run out of charge while you are in the middle of your journey. This has also served to increase the mileage of the vehicle, which has become a big advantage for the vehicle.


In an effort to inform the public about the workings of the plug in vehicles, Toyota held a demonstration in front of the media and some of their customers in one of their showrooms. The car glided quietly through the winding course even when the driver applied more gas to reach 37 miles an hour. The car showed it could reach speeds of up to 62 miles per hour. According to the company, the gasoline part of the vehicle comes in when the driver needs fast acceleration and when the battery of the vehicles runs out. The car can easily be recharged from the regular house socket in two hours.






Leave a Comment January 9, 2013

Rush for Plug-In Conversions for Hybrid Vehicles

A large number of states and organizations around the world have invested a significant amount of resources in an effort to discover the possibility of converting hybrid vehicles to plug in hybrid vehicles. This is because of the evident advantages that these types of vehicles have over the normal hybrid. Hybrid vehicles that are powered by gasoline and electricity require some amount the scarce and expensive gasoline. Plug in vehicles, on the other hand can be recharged from the normal house sockets and they are often sold with additional battery packs. This feature allows the car to use electricity more than gasoline. These vehicles have a relatively higher mileage and have less greenhouse emission than their counterparts have. This means that the vehicle will be more favorable among the environmentalists, compared to the other vehicles.

The Resources Invested in the Project

The New York State Energy Research authority estimates that it will require approximately $10 million to invest in the hybrid plug-in project and conversion of the current hybrid. The organization recently invited contract bids for the plug in hybrids. The success of the trial period will mean that the state will make attempts to convert their over 500 hybrids into plug-ins. The firm also has plans to produce a modified version of the popular Toyota Prius, which was the first hybrid vehicle to hit the market. Attempts are also being made to convert the Ford Escape hybrid into a plug in version. There is no other firm or company in the world that has attempted to do this. This will mean that it may take a number of months before the success of this venture may be fully achieved. This realization has forced the stakeholders to invent measures that are more stringent to make this feature a success.

The Other Stakeholders

Other cities around the world are following suit in the development of the plug in hybrid vehicles. The state of California started the Sacramento testing plug-in vehicles. This project was designed to run for a three-year period. So far, Sacramento was able to create more than 1000 plug in vehicles. These are the results of only one year of operation. This shows that in the specified three years, the plant will be able to achieve far more than it has been anticipated. Other cities, such as the San Francisco took a different approach by specializing in the Chrysler diesel hybrids. This program has the ultimate goal of converting the hybrids from this line of production to the more efficient plug in hybrid vehicles.



Leave a Comment January 9, 2013

Unveiling of the V2G Technology

The V2G technology refers to a vehicle-to-grid technology that allows motorists to plug into an electrical grid to recharge their vehicles. This means that in about ten years when you are driving your hybrid vehicle, you can plug your car in to your city electrical grid and recharge your vehicle when you are not driving. The V2G technology makes use of the fact that hybrid cars are like wheel-mounted stations that generate power. This means that for 90% of the time, their capacity to generate power sits unused. By connecting the cars to the grid and moving power to it, there is a chance for increasing the benefits of the vehicles and increase the capacity for the city to meet their electricity supply demands without increasing the investment on these generation grids.

The Goals of V2G Technology

The basic goal behind the design of the vehicle to grid technology was to increase the productivity and the advantages associated with the invention of hybrid vehicles. The goal is to create the perception that hybrid vehicles are the best mode of transportation from all the possible viewpoints. The main areas include fuel efficiency and their contribution to the national economy. This technology efficiently supports a power generation network that is distributed and can be harnessed to enhance the pre-existing capability to generate power for the city electric supply grid. Most people will think that this idea is very farfetched, but the truth of the matter is that this idea is already coming to realization. The city of Toronto is already witnessing V2G hybrid buses being run in the city. It is also said that Daimler-Chrysler is working on pickup trucks that will be using this technology. This goes a long way to explain that more and more manufacturers are walking towards the use of this technology by the day. Soon it will become a widespread technology and the goals of the technology will be fully achieved.

Maintaining the Traction

The vehicle to grid technology is still a new technology in the market. This means that there needs to be ample education to speed up the momentum for people to adopt this technology. At the moment, there is still no place you can plug in your vehicle for V2G purposes. Most power companies will also be a bit unwilling to open up their grids to the public. This means there will need to be some build up of trust between the stakeholders involved in the industry.



Leave a Comment January 4, 2013

Ford Pushes its Electric Drive Roadmap

The Ford Company recently unveiled their company roadmap that would see the company make significant strides towards the release of greener cars and trucks into the market. This is because the company believes that there is still ample room for improvement on the internal combustion engine and the company intends to capitalize on this fact to roll out more hybrids and electric cars into the market. To show their commitment towards achieving this goal, Ford released the Lincoln MKZ hybrid that was previously expected to make it into the market in the next four years. Ford decided to go against the norm for announcing new cars years before their release into the market. This is because the company released the car only months after it was announced.

Comprehensive and Aggressive Plan

Ford has been taking innovative and bold strides concerning their next set of hybrid vehicles. Some of the vehicles that were a part of this roll out include the Transit Connect Electric delivery car that was release late in 2010. The Focus electric that was released in 2011 was also a part of this line up. Other vehicles in the category include the plug-in version of the hybrid Ford Escape that was released last year. There is a big line up of next generation hybrid vehicles expected to roll out in 2013. This is a part of the greater picture in the hybrid technology adopted by the company. The company has also revealed their plans to continue to advance their research with regard to hydrogen technology.

Wired and Electric

The technological advancement of moving away from the combustion engine is seen as a way of creating more energy efficiency and environmental sustainability. This notion is what has forced Ford to try forging collaborations with other industry players in an attempt to accelerate the growth in this sector. Ford recently formed a partnership with Microsoft for the development of hybrid technology. This is aimed towards the development of an online application that allows hybrid owners to manage their electric use at their home while their vehicles are plugged in during recharging. This application will be offered to Ford customers for free. This application was designed to help make the electric vehicles more affordable and make their interaction with the grid relatively more smart and efficient. The application is meant to assist homeowners to know when to power up their vehicles battery. This is designed with the hope that the customers will be drawing power at night when the cost of power is usually lower.



1 Comment January 4, 2013

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