Archives – December 16, 2016

Hybrid Cars that Take Less than Three Years to Pay Back

2017-ford-fusion-hybrid

Ford Fusion 2017hybridcarsuv.com

While critics have raised questions concerning the higher cost of alternative energy cars compared to conventional cars, there are some hybrid cars that are worth a purchase. Owners of these cars are likely to be paid back in less than three years. The pay back is possible within the three years even in the absence of government subsidies, which are usually available for plug-in vehicles.

Toyota’s 2016 Avalon Hybrid

This hybrid car would pay back in about 2.8 years. The Avalon is one of Toyota’s top range sedans that is likened to a Lexus having Toyota’s badge. It also closely resembles the non-hybrid version of Avalon. It is known for saving fuel. Its powertrain is a 2.5 liter Hybrid Synergy and was coined from the Camry Hybrid. The non-hybrid version’s powertrain has a capacity of 3.5 liters with a range of 24 mpg. Although the non-hybrid model is more powerful, EPA figures indicate that the Avalon hybrid can save up to 540 dollars annually.

Honda’s 2017 Accord Hybrid Touring

Honda was on a hiatus for model year 2016 and then came back with a revised version of the Accord Hybrid. This car is high-tech and gives a range of 48 mpg. Its non-hybrid counterpart has a range of 25 mpg. The power of the Accord hybrid is also greater in comparison to that of a V6. In terms of price, the hybrid costs $1,305 more, but according to the EPA figures, savings for the hybrid car amount to $621 annually.

Ford’s 2016 Fusion Hybrid Titanium

This model was released this year, with the updated model for 2017 available for sale now. The 2016 hybrid model’s cost is only $160 more than the non-hybrid Fusion Titanium. It promises a range of 41 mpg in comparison to the non-hybrid’s 26 mpg. The 2016 Fusion is likely to pay back in less than five months with the approximate annual savings amounting to $456. The updated 2017 Fusion now gives a range of 42 mpg, with its pricing remaining reasonable.

Lincoln’s 2016 MKZ Hybrid

The pricing policy of Ford for its upper scale Fusion becomes better for the MKZ Hybrid of the Lincoln division. The hybrid luxury car has a hybrid engine with a capacity of 2 liters, while the non-hybrid version has a turbocharged engine with a capacity of 2 liters, as well. There is also a V6 with a rating of 21 mpg. The hybrid, which the gas-saver within the family, offers plenty of power with a range of 40 mpg.

 

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Supercapacitor Breakthrough to Allow Electric Cars to Charge within Seconds

BMW i3 Electric

BMW i3 Electric

Augmented Optics, a technological firm, has manufactured a supercapacitor material that allows electric cars to be charged as fast as refueling a normal car. This innovation threatens to make lithium-ion batteries useless. The new material that is set to serve as a replacement for conventional batteries comes as a polymer utilizing the soft contact-lens technology. This technology may increase the performance of the electronic components of the supercapacitors, which play the role of storing and distributing high power volumes. Polymers are composed of organic molecules that have repeated sub-units bonded together into a three-dimensional system.

Tests have been done on the new material by researchers from the University of Bristol and the University of Surrey in Great Britain. Their test findings reveal that the material’s effectiveness is a thousand to ten thousand times more compared to current supercapacitors. Augmented Optics’ technical director, Dr. Donald Highgate said the technology has a high potential. Hughes added that if the material is as good as it is thought to be, it may entirely replace battery technology. It will be shocking to vehicle manufacturers if this new technology turns out to be disruptive. However, cars could still be manufactured on similar factory lines. This project has been kept a secret until this point, with global patents having been filed last week.

A key advantage of supercapacitors is their capability of charging and discharging quickly through numerous cycles. Unfortunately, the efficiency that the current supercapacitors have on holding charges is not as high as that of batteries. For example, some supercapacitors utilized by buses in China need recharging every three to four miles. With the new material, supercapacitors now have a storage capacity that is closer to that of lithium-ion batteries. They have the additional benefit of cheaper costs of production and immediate recharging.

Dr. Ian Hamerton , one of the project’s scientists from the University of Bristol said that they initially did not consider the automotive industry. However, as the findings were revealed, it was evident that this technology would be adopted by the car industry. Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motors said that he was sure the supercapacitors were a breakthrough for the auto industry, especially for electric cars. According to Augmented Optics’ Chief Executive, Jim Heathcote, the group is in search of partners to whom it can offer assistance in building these storage devices and supplying the polymers. Auto Express reported that the team plans to produce a prototype electric vehicle by the year 2017. Owners of this car will be able to charge it in a few seconds with a driving range of about 150 miles.

 

 

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