Archives – December 19, 2014

Hybrid Cars versus Hydrogen Cars

imagesHydrogen cars have recently made a market entry and many may wonder whether they are better than hybrid cars. With respect to minimizing the emission of greenhouse gas, hybrid cars are still better in doing so. Additionally, hybrid cars cost less compared to hydrogen fueled vehicles. Hydrogen cars have at last emerged following several years of investigation and demonstrations. These cars utilize electric motors and generate electricity from hydrogen, which is a by-product of a chemical process that occurs within the fuel cell. Fuel costs are much lower now, thanks to engineers and researchers. In the past few years, the price has been reduced by as much as ninety-five percent. This, coupled with the need to abide by the regulations laws of California, is an indication that the market is finally embracing the technology.

Toyota has plans of launching Mirai, a hydrogen car in Japan before the end of this month. The company will do the same in the United States early next year. Other automakers such as Honda, GM and many more have also announced of their plans to manufacture hydrogen cars. Automakers have claimed that the new hydrogen car models are environmental-friendly. For instance, Hyundai’s advertisement of its new car shows that there is no carbon dioxide emission. Toyota on the other hand advertises that the hydrogen cars it manufactures emit water vapor and not greenhouse gases. It is however, essential to keep in mind that such ads can be deceptive.

While water vapor is indeed the only substance that is emitted by hydrogen cars, the hydrogen gas used to operate the cars is generated through a reaction that results in emission of considerable greenhouse gas. Eventually, hydrogen cars could get much cheaper and cleaner, thanks to emerging technologies. For instance, renewable electricity sources could be used for powering an electrolyzer to release hydrogen by splitting water into oxygen and hydrogen atoms. The major setback however, is that the process would still cost more in comparison to using natural gas to generate hydrogen. In the long term, catalysts that absorb solar energy and use it in splitting water may be engineered. If this is achieved, it will be much cheaper and simpler to generate hydrogen.

Hydrogen cars have a key advantage over hybrid cars in that, recharging them is easier and faster. For instance, it would only take 10 minutes to fully charge a tank for the Hyundai hydrogen car. Tesla’s electric car, on the other hand, known for having one of the fastest chargers would still take approximately 20 minutes.

 

 

 

Leave a Comment December 19, 2014

2016’s Audi Q7 Plug-in Hybrid Model Goes Diesel

Audi_Q7_1Audi has plans of electrifying its brand new plug-in hybrid version of Q7 next year. The new version in question will not be characterized by a gasoline-fueled engine, but instead by a diesel engine. Several countries across the globe are beginning to warm up to the idea of manufacturing plug-in hybrid cars. A similar trend has been evident in European automakers, which have benefited from a fuel economy that has shown bias towards plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles. SUVs of a plug-in hybrid version are even the preferred choice every time the prices of gas start to rise. Fortunately, for the new plug-in hybrid model, Audi is not concerned about the costs of gasoline. The company plans to go against the norm and give the new Q7 model a powerful engine in combination with power generated from the battery.

Audi’s plan for its new hybrid car were first announced in July 2014, but now it has been confirmed that this 2016 version is set to debut in January, 2015. Although the numbers given are still not official, it is expected that the diesel-powered plug-in hybrid electric version will give a combination of fuel economy and a range of 100 miles per gallon. This is as per the standard European scale. The range of the new Q7 e-tron is expected to exceed 800 miles. Audi is set to promote the new car in the entire continent. Audi will sell its Q7 with the traditional gas, as well as diesel burning engines. The weight savings have been projected to be at least 660 pounds in comparison to the previous version, hence, all models will evidently benefit from this.

The brand new Q7 e-tron is set to debut during the January’s auto show in Detroit. Volvo V60 was Europe’s first diesel-electric hybrid car; hence, the Q7 e-tron will be the second. With respect to the SUV front that is pluggable, Q7 e-tron is expected to be a direct competitor of the Volvo’s XC90 T8, BMW’s X5 model and the Cayenne S e-Hybrid by Porsche. Audi has further stated that its new Q7 will have a pure electric range of that exceeds 30 miles. This is in contrast to BMW’s X5, which claims a pure electric range of approximately 20 miles.

The United States Audi Q7 newest version is said to rise since this will be a worldwide model. The Q7 e-tron has a combination of economy, refinement, performance and range, which is likely to convince even the Americans who tend to shy away from diesel.

 

 

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