Archives – April 6, 2014

Efficiency of Hybrid Cars

One of the decisions that most consumers make that has a huge impact on the environment is the type of car they buy. This is because over the past decade the greatest percentage of pollution has been from car emissions. The invention of hybrid cars has assisted a great deal in the attempts to curb this worrying trend. Hybrid cars provide consumers with the option of creating less pollution on the part of the consumer. The invention of hybrid cars comes after decades of road developments and experimentation. After 13 years in the market, the Toyota Prius remains the most successful hybrid car in the market. Other car manufacturing companies have steadily followed suit and companies are now manufacturing a wide range of hybrid cars for the different market levels.

The basic mechanics behind the working of hybrid cars is the fact that they have relatively higher fuel efficient gas engines. This is because they combine the power of the electric motor that assists the engine it is accelerating. The fascinating thing is that with most models, the electric motor is recharged when the car is driven. This means that you don’t have to recharge the batteries.

There are two major varieties of hybrid cars in the market. These are the parallel hybrid cars and the series hybrid cars. In the parallel hybrid car, the gasoline powered engine and the electric motor work together in propelling the car. In the series type, a small gasoline engine continuously charges the batteries that power the electric motor, which propels the vehicle.

Hybrid cars usually gain their efficiency from the following aspects:

Smaller and more fuel efficient engines. This is perhaps their biggest advantage for consumers who prefer to cut down the fuel consumption as much as possible. These vehicles gain this advantage from the fact that they make use of both gas and electric power. This means that it makes less use of fuel, thus less space is needed for the gasoline engine.

The other advantage this car has over the conventional vehicle is the fact that they have the regenerative braking technology. This means that the electric motor that drives the vehicle forward is the same motor that will be used in stopping the car. In this position the electric motor acts as the generator and charges the batteries as the car is slowing down. This reduces the rate at which the batteries are charged. This is a big advantage in terms of efficiency.



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Tesla Upgrades Battery Protection

From extensive research on what most consumers would prefer Tesla to improve on, most users preferred to have an improvement on the armor of the vehicle. The good news is that Tesla recently announced that they had taken steps towards implementing this. The electric sedans that are produced now by the company come equipped with a triple-shield aluminium and titanium shield. These are designed in a way that makes it easy to protect the under body and prevent puncturing of the underside and precipitate fires. Despite the vehicle being under investigation earlier for its failure to prevent battery fires, the transportation agency eventually dropped their charges after the release of this upgrade.

This new shield has been reported to deflect a wide range of objects in the artificially controlled simulations that have been conducted on the car. One of the most notable tests carried out on the Tesla was letting it run over a spear implanted on the road and the body did not display any sparks during the contact. Other objects used in the test include concrete blocks, and an automotive alternator, all of which were deflected from the vehicle.

The vehicle boasts of triple shield architecture. The first layer of the shield is a rounded hollow bar that is made from aluminium. This is meant to completely deflect objects with the magnitude of a three ball trailer. The next layer in the shield is a high strength titanium plate that protects the front under body components. These two layers alone are enough to deflect 80% of the objects that come into contact with the vehicle most of the time.

The third shield is the solid aluminium extrusion that further absorbs the impact energy and gives an additional layer of protection. This layer was added to take care of the rare debris that often remains intact after contact. In general, these shields have about 0.1% impact on the range of the car and have no effect on the ride or handling of the car. Further tests carried out indicated that the additional protection does not have any effect on the drag or lift of the car.

Despite the blown out headline coverage that suggested that the Model S was not safe, the company states that the chances of Model S actually catching fire are 1 in 8000. This is five times lower the chances of an average gasoline powered car catching fire. This means that we can comfortably say that the car is by far safer than most of the gas powered cars running along our roads.


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