Archives – April 18, 2015

Chevy’s 2016 Malibu Hybrid Might Give the Prius a Run for Its Money

Chevrolet_Malibu_Hybrid_DCToyota’s Prius has been the leading hybrid vehicle across the globe since 1997. In October last year, Prius’ global sales hit seven million. This year’s New York International Auto show was marked by the release of the new Chevy Malibu Hybrid, which is deemed to be a strong competitor to the Prius. Chevrolet has projected that an EPA of 48 City/45 highway MPG will be delivered by the Malibu. This is a bit close to the standard Prius Hatchback’s 51/48 MPG. The Malibu has adopted the Volt’s Voltec technology, though it has a smaller battery (1.5 kWh) and larger engine (1.8 liter). Although the new Malibu hybrid is incapable of charging using a plug, it has the ability of cruising on electric power alone for a mile up to 55 MPH. The regenerative system of the new hybrid is similar to that of the Volt. The fact that there is shared technology implies that there was little reinvention involved in model development, resulting in an increase in consumer savings. Chevy’s Malibu will be the first car from this automaker to utilize Exhaust-Gas Heat Recovery for warming the engine and cabin, resulting in fasting heating and a fuel economy that is more consistent.

Despite the fact that Chevy’s Malibu will give Toyota’s Prius a run for its money, it is not a Prius clone. The 2015 Malibu hybrid is 15-inches longer compared to the standard Prius Hatchback and more than 8-inches longer compared to Prius V. The 2016 model is longer by a few inches and lighter by about 300 pounds. The size of the 2016 model is comparable to that of Camry Hybrid whose range is at 40/38 MPG. Additionally, the new version has a sharper look compared to the Prius. For those consumers who are not impressed by Toyota’s uniqueness, the Malibu offers comfort and shape familiarity. When it comes to performance, Prius has 98 horsepower, while the new Malibu hybrid gives 182 horsepower. While the Malibu is best suited for sport, the Prius and Volt are tuned for economy. There is a solid lineup of safety and entertainment features in the 2015 Prius, while the new version of Malibu hybrid has improved on that by having a pedestrian alert that is camera enabled, as well as a blind spot monitoring. Another interesting feature of the Malibu Hybrid is Teen Driver System that gives parents the ability for setting an acceptable speed. When the parameters are exceeded, the system will alert parents.




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The Essence of Hybrid Cars in 2015

Toyota_Prius_HybridAlthough hybrid cars have been in existence for many years, they have not been embraced fully by consumers. Gasoline fueled cars are still common with their promise of minimal fuel consumption. Conventional hybrid cars are less popular despite having small electric motors to help in propulsion under minimal speed situations. This is because although such cars have additional technological features and promise increased fuel economy, only a few people are able to utilize them to their maximum potential. Hybrid cars may prove as economical as the normal gasoline fueled cars, unless one spends their entire driving life in congested cities. Additionally, hybrid vehicles are more costly compared to the regular gasoline fueled cars.

Therefore, a question to ponder on is why hybrid cars should matter in the year 2015. One of the key reasons is with respect to environmental issues. Diesel engines have been known to cause immense environmental pollution. After over a hundred years of carbon dioxide emissions to the environment, their negative effects on human health are finally being witnessed. Over the last few years, diesel cars have gained popularity because of affordable rates of tax. However, such cars have a likelihood of being shelved soon, with big cities planning to put a ban on cars that pollute the environment the most. Hybrid cars are associated with low carbon dioxide emissions because of their capacity to go for limited time by solely using battery power without releasing hazardous emissions to the environment.

Criticisms on hybrid cars are often based on the fact they have low electric range and the fact that the fuel economy claimed can only be realized by drivers observing a specific behavior set. These concerns have been countered by car manufacturers with the launch of plug-in hybrid cars. Hybrid cars like Volvo X60 and the Audi A3 e-tron have a setup that is similar to that of conventional hybrids. However, they have larger-sized battery packs that have shown to improve the range of electric driving. The majority of the models have the ability to travel up to thirty miles using electric power alone. In this way, most of the emission-free advantages of an electric car are offered.

Drivers who are used to short journeys may not need to use fuel at all since it is possible to hook up plug-in hybrids to the mains and fully charge them within a few hours. Some governments are also offering grants to plug-in hybrid and electric car buyers. This means that such cars could be an option that is more cost effective than initially imagined.



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