Archives – February, 2013

The Cheapest Hybrid Cars on the Market

Being eco-friendly can be quite an expensive venture. Perhaps that could be the reason why the hybrids are referred to as ‘rich boys’ toys.’ However, the tax reduction incentives that accompany these cars may actually make these new generation cars, well, a bit more affordable. For those who want to take a part in saving the earth, but squirm at the idea of having to spend more than $30,000, there are a few options to consider:

The Honda C-R Z 1.5i V-TEC

There has been a lot of praise for this two-door coupe model, which has made a good attempt at prioritizing driver enjoyment, all at the same time being eco-friendly, alluded by its six-speed gear box, sports suspension, as well as a very engaging steering wheel. The 1.5 liter engine has a modest horsepower of 114, and a gas mileage of between 35-40 mpg. However, it has slightly higher carbon emissions of about 117g/km, which when compared to rival hybrids that have less than 100g/km emissions, it is a trade off for a fun and soulful car. Retailing at a comparatively lower price of $20,345, this car could be more appealing to the enthusiastic driver than to, say, someone buying a family car.

The Honda Jazz Hybrid HE

The car definitely has it perks (in terms of class), but compared to the older generation of Hondas, it has less of that driver’s appeal. However, it has purposes that are more practical. The 1.3 liter engine, combined with its IMA (Integrated Motor Assist) enables this car to be more fuel-efficient. The engine turns off when the car stops in traffic, contributing to its mpg. It also emits less carbon dioxide than the CR-Z, 107g/km. It is provides a comfortable ride, although, since it is very low, might be a little problematic when taking corners. Being reliable and fairly inexpensive at $24,790, this car should definitely be considered by those who want to start green driving.

Toyota Yaris t-3 VVT-I

This could be a good bargain for those looking to buy a family car. The light-controls model with enough flexibility on the rear chairs (they split 60/40 and can slide individually) one would understand why the car would attract those with a young family. This super mini car has an engine with a capacity of 1.3 liters and delivers 86 basic horsepower. In terms of performance, the car can accelerate from 0 to 60 in 12 seconds, which is not bad. It’s a lightweight car, although it has low positioning, making its maneuverability around corners a bit tricky. The comfortable ride retails at $15,195, which is indeed quite cheap in comparison to other hybrids.




Leave a Comment February 28, 2013

Better Mileage for the Hybrids

After all is said and done, few things in life become very clear and to a driver, one of those things is the fact that gas prices will always keep skyrocketing. Such a sad reality makes people react differently: some decide that their car is better off left at home and they rely on the public transport system, others may keep hoping for large salary increments, while others who look for an alternative buy a hybrid. So far, the mileage for hybrids is okay, considering the popular Toyota Prius, which does 51 mpg in residential areas and 50 mpg in combined mode. To be able to maintain at this value, one would have to take a number of steps to economize fuel consumption further.

Take Advantage of the Electric Drive Mode

The first thing one should learn is how your car gets into and out of the electric drive mode. For some models, all that is required is that one slightly taps onto the brakes and the car will switch modes. Others may require that you accelerate slightly then remove the foot from the accelerator and the car switches mode without the need of stepping on the brakes. However, do not drive in the electric mode for the maximum period. One may mistakenly think that by staying in the electric mode for as long as it is possible that they can improve on their gas mileage. However, this overworks the battery, draining it and thus would require charging, even on terrains where you could glide or where maximum power is needed such as up a steep hill. If driving for long distances, one is advised to plan ahead, while understanding the terrain of the region as well as the state of traffic for optimal driving.

Efficient Driving Skills

An advantage of the hybrid cars is that they can generate electricity internally, for instance during braking. However, when braking poorly, such as hard braking, friction brakes may be engaged using up all the power, and more, that was generated. Therefore, it is advised, especially when in traffic, that one keeps some distance between them and the car that is in front, such that they would not be forced to slam onto the brakes and they have a more fluid drive. Also develop the habit of avoiding many stops, for instance when driving into a red light one should slow down, hoping that the light will turn green before they stop.

Other steps could also include turning off the air conditioner when not needed, ensuring proper maintenance of the car such as tire pressure and choosing the most appropriate route while driving. Improving mileage requires that one be aware of how the hybrids function and take advantage where they can to improve their mileage.




Leave a Comment February 28, 2013

Protection Against Sun Heat For Hybrid Cars

The boredom of a hot Sunday afternoon could easily be killed by taking a drive in a newly purchased hybrid car. Such peace is acquired not only from the natural scenes, but also from the knowledge that one would not spend a lot on fuel. However, should one ignore the damaging effects of sun over-exposure to your car, the scenic drives could in time, be a regrettable hobby.

The Downside of UV Rays

Some of the biggest negative effects of the sun on a car’s interior include the wearing away of the seats and surfaces such that they look older and less polished. Also, heat build up in the car could over-burden the air conditioning system as it tries to cool the car down. This in turn requires more energy from the battery, which will in turn end up using more fuel. It is therefore necessary to take steps to limit the damage of UV rays to your car.

Protective Measures

The basic idea is to ensure that the car’s exposure to the sun is minimal. A simple measure would be to ensure that one parks the hybrid vehicle under shade. Investing in a good heat shield cover for your windshield would also be a good step. They come in various reflective shades and could also be customized to fit your windshield perfectly.

Another option would be to consider window tinting that might block out 99% of the sun’s rays. However, a trained professional should spray the windows since if done poorly; it may give the windows a very unattractive look. Other interior accessories worth considering would be good seat covers that also have the advantage of hiding previous damage. Another option one could consider is to spray the seats, as well as other surfaces inside the car with a protective film that protects these surfaces against sun damage.

By now, most of the car interior is well protected except the floor. There are good floor linings and car mats available on the market that will not only protect the car’s interior from sun damage, but also from wear over time. Although these small purchases would mean digging for extra coins, it should be realised that in time they will save one from buying new interior parts, which would prove to be a whole lot more expensive. It is also common knowledge that most people will judge the value of your car based on what they see on the outside.



Leave a Comment February 22, 2013

Hybrid vs Conventional Cars

Recent years have seen a growth in the number of hybrid car enthusiasts worldwide, and with good reasons. With improved fuel consumption, lower carbon emissions and better engine performance, these green cars are definitely poised to dominate the automobile world. The hybrid cars, designed with ingenuity, can run on both gasoline-powered engines, as well as electricity supplied from an in-built motor, while the traditional cars run only on gasoline. This intelligent concept of hybrid technology has enabled the combination of driving pleasure with economized fuel consumption, all at the same time being environmentally friendly. Take for example the V6 3.0L compressor engine of the Porsche Panamera S hybrid and compare it to the V6 3.6L gasoline engine of the Porsche Panamera. Obviously, the traditional model has a greater engine capacity, but all economists out there would note with great pleasure that the hybrid covers an extra 4 miles for every gallon used for driving in residential areas (EPA standard values: hybrid 26 mpg, Panamera 22 mpg for in city driving). Less fuel consumption definitely means fewer emissions of CO2, as evidenced by the Panamera hybrid that only emits 158kg/mile.

Performance is Similar

A 380 hp for the hybrid as compared to the 300 hp for the Porsche V6 model also proves to be another performance advantage for the eco cars. However, due to the additional weight on the hybrid model, it accelerates from 0-60 in 5.7 seconds, impressive indeed, but the Panamera V6 can achieve that in only 5.6 seconds. Another disadvantage brought on by the extra weight is that the conventional car models have better handling and agility as compared to their hybrid counterparts. It is also worthwhile to note, that by adding a few accessories the handling of the hybrid cars does improve. The exterior of both cars is similar: four-seater car with a two-box design maximising on style and efficiency of space. The exterior look, although adhering to the styling heritage of the Porsche, seems quite unappealing to a number of car enthusiasts.

Comparing Costs

The Panamera luxury series cars are quite costly. The hybrid model in particular, is pricier than its petrol powered counterpart, retailing at around $96,150, while the conventionally powered Panamera can be purchased at around $75, 850. The extra $20,000 may discourage some from getting to enjoy automobile satisfaction offered by the hybrid model; in the long run, the eco-friendly car pays you back with the major savings made on fuel purchases. Hybrid cars do seem to have a number of advantages, but while regarding car performance and handling, the hybrid technology will have to enhance further in order to achieve perfection.



Leave a Comment February 22, 2013

Making a Case for Hybrid Vehicles

Among the most basic activities that normal people perform in the modern world include driving. What many people do not realize is that the type of driving option that you choose to take up has an impact on many sectors of the economic and environmental areas. This is because the type of fuel that powers the vehicles significantly affects the amount of pollution that is released into the environment. Choosing a greener option for the type of car that you buy is part of ensuring that we are able to enjoy a more sustainable and safe environment. Hybrid cars are among the most popular green car options in the world. The hybrid cars serve the purpose of offering a highly efficient and practical solution to most contemporary drivers. The most popular types of hybrids in the market today are the gas-electric hybrids. Some varieties of hybrid cars have been known to produce up to 90% less toxic gases compared to the normal gasoline powered cars

The main purpose of hybrid cars is to make use of both the gas engine and the electric motor of the car that is used in assisting the car during the acceleration process. The batteries of the car are usually recharged as the car is driving. This eliminates the need for recharging the batteries of the car. This car therefore effectively accomplishes the task of cutting down on the use of fossil fuels while ensuring that the performance of the car is not compromised. In the process, this allows the owner of the car to save money. The government has further encouraged the use of hybrid cars by offering tax incentives on the purchase of hybrid cars and their spare parts. Buyers can take advantage of such incentives and enjoy savings by purchasing hybrid cars.

For the people who would like to evaluate the use of hybrid cars from an economic point of view, there are a number of factors that you could consider while making a decision. Some of the factors that you could look into include the cost of gas needed by the vehicle and the length of ownership of the car. The model of the car also plays a very important role. This is usually important because it also determines the miles per gallon of the car. It has been proven that most hybrid cars have a lower rate of depreciation compared to standard gasoline cars. With the growing demand for these cars, if you plan to make a financial investment in one of these cars, then you have several models from which to choose.




Leave a Comment February 16, 2013

Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles

Hybrid cars are the type of cars that are powered by two sources of power. These types of cars have significantly gained popularity over the recent years. Plug-in hybrid cars have also followed the trend, as their popularity seems to be closely following that of their hybrid cousins. Their popularity and acceptance is steadily growing and they have gained some significant acceptance among a number of experts. Plug-in hybrids use rechargeable batteries that are usually recharged by being plugged into an external source of power. Most people consider this variety of vehicles as a cross of a hybrid vehicle and electric vehicle. At the moment, most of the most of the plug in hybrid cars in the market are passenger models. However, manufacturers are taking steps to manufacture other varieties of conveyances such as trucks, trains, military vehicles and vans.

These vehicles have been considered more economical with regard to the cost of powering them. This is because the cost of the electric power that is used to power the vehicle is usually less than a quarter of the cost of the same amount of gasoline that would be used to power the vehicle. Another big advantage of these cars is that they have a combustion engine that is used as a backup when the electric power of the vehicle runs out. This means that the concerns of the vehicle with regard to the driving range are addressed. When the vehicle is charged using renewable electric power, these vehicles are able to offer more advanced and impressive environmental benefits.

Among the most popular plug-in hybrid vehicle in the market is the AFS Trinity’s extreme hybrid. This vehicle was released in the Detroit motor show in 2008. The vehicle has the ability to run for about 40 miles on electric power before reverting to the use of hybrid power just like the normal hybrid vehicles. Most people on a normal day will drive for less than 40 miles in a single day. This means that with a single charge everyday a person can stay without gasoline on weekends. The energy storage system of the car combines both lithium ion batteries and small ultra-capacitors that have a high power density. This allows the car to reach very high speeds and high rates of acceleration while using only electric power, just like a normal hybrid car.

The major concern for most of plug-in hybrids in the market is that the batteries of the vehicles are usually made from rare metals that often require a lot of water and energy during extraction. This makes them very rare and expensive.


Leave a Comment February 16, 2013

Upgrade Inside and Out

Upgrading your new hybrid not only makes it more comfortable and safe, it will also make it uniquely yours. From customizing the inside to flashing up the outside, here are a few suggestions.

Seat Covers: For Beauty and Comfort

The interior looks of a car is determined mainly by the looks of your car seats. Many drivers and hybrid car owners find it a real headache maintaining and upholding their seat upholstery without compromising their comfort. That is why we bring to you the ultimate solution to your hybrid car seat problems. You can find beautifully hand crafted and customized seat covers that meet your car specifications. It also enhances your car interior and allows you to personalize the looks on your car seats. Seat covers are made of strong fabrics that increase your seat life, as well as protecting the seats original design. Neoprene, which is used for many seat covers and ensure maximum protection against spilled liquids that would otherwise be absorbed by your seat cushions. Many covers are also soft and it’s easy to maintain your cushion feel, ensuring maximum comfort to you and your passengers.

Steering Wheel Covers: Comfort on Your Hands

Safety while driving is an all time necessity to any driver. Your safety depends on your driving. Proper car control helps to reduce accidents. Sometimes your steering wheel becomes slippery due to sweat on your hands. Steering wheel covers help to maintain a sweat free hand and allows proper grip. Leather covers are also soft to hand comfort, as well as protecting you from hand blisters, more so after long driving hours. They are customized to meet your wheel size and interior coloring of your car to ensure consistent looks in your car.

Bumper Guard: Real Protection

It is not every day that we drive along well maintained tarmac roads. We are often met with sharp stones, big potholes and all such stuff that could adversely affect both your front and rear car paint. You can fix your car with bumper guards that will ensure that your paint is free from scratches. It also protects your car body from excessive damage in case you hit something accidentally.

Tail Light Tint and Lighting: Your View to The World

You hybrid car lighting is the clear indicator of your view. Most drivers are forced to pull over by the roadside for lack of clear sight, more so during rain or fog. Poor vision could also pose a real danger to you and other drivers along your way. However, when your car is fixed with good taillight tints and adequate lighting, you are assured bright light to light you way. The taillights also serve to direct other drivers of your movements, thus enhancing safety at all times.



Leave a Comment February 7, 2013

Essentials for Your Hybrid

Here are a few things to put on your ‘I want’ and ‘I need’ lists.

Air Filters: Fresh Air Everyday

Most drivers strive to get rid of dust from their car interior, forgetting about their hybrid car engine systems. The car engine is the heart of your car and when it stops beating, you go nowhere. It is necessary to clear off any clogging dust and allow adequate free flow of fresh air into your engine system. We provide you with air filters that enable fresh air to flow in and out, while blocking all the dusty particles, thus increasing your engine performance and life.

Mud Guards: Keeping it Off

When you drive, your car tires comes into contact with all sorts of things on the road including rocks, dust, mud and even tar. These get thrown onto your car-body sides, ruining your car body and paint. But, why allow mud on your car body when you can stop it by attaching mudguards? Mudguards help to preserve and maintain your car’s beautiful looks. Two pair of mudguards fitted to your car is the key to full time protection for your car body.

Dash Board Covers: Real Anti-Sun Glare Protection

Sometimes we drive out to sunny environments and expose our cars to the harsh temperatures and direct sun glare. The harsh temperatures can cause cracking on plastic dashboards. It also makes the plastic peel off, thus losing its color and texture in the process. However, we provide a solution to that, our customized hybrid car dashboard covers are fitted to cover your dashboard completely, keeping it safe from the damages of the sun. The customization allows you to pick a color of your choice that matches your car interior looks, thus enhancing your car’s beauty. The fabric we use is soft to touch and appealing to the eyes. This ensures that it serves its purpose of dashboard protection without compromising the beautiful car interior. There are many to choose from that are made especially for your hybrid.

Bike Racks: Take Your Bike with You

Real headaches come when you want to go places in your hybrid car and take along your bike. Most people are forced to lift their bike over their head to load it on top of the car, which can be quite tedious. Fix your car today with bike racks that will enable you carry your bikes without much struggle. The racks ensure that the bikes do not come into contact with the car’s body, thus protecting it from any scratches. It also allows you to carry the bike and still be able to pack your car without having to remove it. It is so far the easiest and safest way to carry your bike on your hybrid car.



Leave a Comment February 7, 2013

The Purpose of Hybrid Cars

Over the years, driving has formed a large part of the lifestyles of most people around the world. Most people will opt to drive as they engage in their daily activities that require them to move from one place to another. What some people do not realize is the impact that driving has on the environment. Driving forms an essential part of a sustainable environment. This is because hybrid cars offer a practical and more realistic way of curbing environmental pollution. Among the most popular options preferred in meeting this end are the gas-electric hybrid vehicles. Some of the varieties have been known to reduce over 90% of the toxic exhaust released compared to most gasoline-only powered vehicles.

The main purpose behind the introduction of hybrid cars into the market was to make use of both gas engine and electric power that helps the vehicle during the acceleration phase. The battery of the vehicle is in turn recharged automatically as the vehicle is moving. This creates a cycle that helps reduce the amount of fuel that the vehicle uses. Therefore, the main purpose behind the increased usage of hybrid vehicles is to reduce on the amount of fossil fuels used while maintaining the excellent performance of the cars. This in the long run saves consumers money and helps keep the environment cleaner.

For the consumers who are more interested in the economic perspective of the vehicle, there are a number of economic factors that can help you make the decision as to whether you will purchase a hybrid or not. In most cases, buyers with an economic perspective will pick the car that maximizes their future economic benefits. This means that the future benefits of the car need to be higher than the costs that will be incurred in the purchase and maintenance of the vehicle. The model of the car also plays a significant role in the decision making process. This is especially important in relation to the MPG rate of the car. This is because a higher MPG will mean that the buyer will have to incur less cost in fueling the car when compared to a car with a lower fuel mileage. Most hybrid cars have been proven to have a lower depreciation rate than gasoline counter-parts. This means that the car will loose its value at a relatively slower rate. With the growing demand for hybrid vehicles, you are definitely on the right track if you are considering buying a hybrid vehicle.


Leave a Comment February 1, 2013

New Hybrids in the Market

Hybrid cars have become the new sensation in the motor vehicle market over the years. More manufacturers have ventured into this field, as there has been a rising demand for hybrid vehicles. Manufacturers have also responded by manufacturing more hybrids with more advanced features. This has resulted in more expensive and advanced hybrids in the market. Hybrid cars make use of two or more sources of power and the most common source of power is a combination of gasoline and electric motors. More hybrids are released into the market by the day. It is however, important to consider exactly what you want from a car before you finally make the decision to purchase one for yourself.

The Toyota Prius was among the first hybrid cars to be introduced into the market. The first car was released back in 2003 and the car was a major success. This is because the car has been able to establish itself as the most economical hybrid in the market. The company has continued to improve on the features of the car with the subsequent releases of the car. Sources reveal that the new hybrid car to be released this year by the company will be bigger and even more powerful when compared to other versions. The engine capacity has been increased from 1.5 liters to 1.8 liters. This was designed to improve the horsepower of the vehicle from 110 to about 134. The body is also expected to be about an inch wider and four inches longer. Combined with the 50 miles per gallon that the vehicle is expected to achieve, the vehicle is expected to be a sure hit in the market.

A popular name among the best new hybrid cars this year is the Honda Insight. The vehicle has a mileage of 40 mpg and costs less than 20 thousand dollars. This is about $2000 less than the popular Toyota Prius. The vehicle has been vied as thousands of dollars cheaper than most of the other similar cars in the market, has a crisper look and provides a more enjoyable and agile ride than most of the other cars in the market. The only drawback that most people note about this car is the fact that it is smaller compared to the Prius and it may not allow the passengers at the back to sit comfortably.

Other players that are bound to rock the hybrid market this year include Ford, which was awarded the North American car award of the year in 2010. This should leave you with ample choice to shop for your hybrid car.




Leave a Comment February 1, 2013

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