The Hybrid Technology Future

Hybrid Cars
Hybrid Cars

When the Toyota Prius hit the market, many were enamored with the technology and the resulting fuel efficiency. Unfortunately, not many understand how this system works and the following are the basics on hybrid vehicle technology.

While first adopters and owners have an understanding of how a second powertrain helps in increasing mileage and fuel efficiency, many have not been able to accommodate new innovations such as the plug in hybrid technology and other improvements. The increased number of hybrid platforms has required clarifications on this kind of technology.

The basic system involves the pairing of an internal combustion engine with one or more electrical motors. These provide the driving force but the fuel is taken from high capacity battery array that releases energy to the motors together with one or more clutch mechanisms and controllers or capacitors that regulate the power generated in the vehicle.

The internal combustion engine is larger than the electric motor, as it provides more power during acceleration while the electric motor has a smaller output capacity. When the brakes are used, additional energy and power is generated and then captured for storage in the battery for later use.

The technology involved in hybrid vehicles is amongst the cutting edge in the market today, but the different car manufactures differ in design, functionality, efficiency and costing for these vehicles. To some extent, carmakers are trying to provide options for they hybrid market and an example is General Motors with three different hybrid platforms across many of its brands.

Despite the differentiated designs, the basic objectives remain the same. These include allowing each powertrain to operate efficiently, such as electric motors for better acceleration while gasoline engines would do more work when cruising down the motorway. Even the kind of fuel and which platform would be the main and which is the assist varies across makes and models for vehicles currently in the market today.

As the technology improves, the issues regarding the hybrid technology increase. This includes common nomenclature and even standardized measurements would come to fore. The cost of research and development would also increase tremendously, as the demand for efficiency and range further increases and the ultimate determinant would be the sticker price to the consumer. With all these that lie ahead, the hybrid vehicle surely would have a long way to go but is assured of a fulfilling future ahead.

Hybrids and Electric Cars Do More


The Frankfurt Car Show has highlighted the latest technologies and designs of the electric cars that would take the road in the next few years. The main goal is to reach fossil free automation in the near future to avert the onset of global warming.

Aside from the new technologies, there have been great strides in lessening the CO2 emissions of new internal combustion engines as well as weight reduction and improvements in design and aerodynamics.

This complies with stricter fuel economy standards in both the United States and Europe. These were brought about by concerns regarding climactic changes, ever increasing fuel prices, as well as greater calls for fuel efficiency and economy.

Before 2008, governments only recommended voluntary targets for carbon emissions, as well as fuel efficiency. These though were largely dismissed by carmakers, opting for a more bottom-line conscious drive in the cutthroat auto market. Now, with new targets and attendant penalties in terms of benefits and other largesse, carmakers have become more conscientious with these environmental matters because ultimately they would lose their market leverage.

As of the last year, the European Union’s emissions fell by 3.7 percent after a great 5.1 percent drop reported in 2009. Nowadays, the emissions are only 140 grams per kilometer, down from 186 grams per million in 1995. The program targets 130 grams by 2015 and ultimately 98 grams in 2020.

The United States is also on the same path. Last year, the Obama administration targeted to raise fuel economy guidelines to 53 percent by 2025. The program also requires companies to reach a fuel efficiency rating of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.

The carmakers on the other hand have been complying but meeting the goals is quite difficult as each year provides a new baseline essentially stipulating a requirement that is a moving target. The conundrum is in order to reach the targets, there needs to be more sales to finance the research to achieve the goals.

The simple step is going all out for hybrids and electric cars. This market though is quite small, representing only a few thousand in an overall car market reaching fifty million cars each year. Of the current one billion cars on the road, only a trickle, roughly 47 million units are alternative vehicles, as either a hybrid, hydrogen or electric car.

There are still limitations though that electric cars face in order to leave internal combustion engine cars eating their dust. These include prohibitive battery costs, limited range of travel and available infrastructure for recharging and repair. Many experts see that it would take at least five more years for battery technology to achieve its desired goals.

Until then, fuel efficiency is the key until the batteries go out on the idea.

The Frankfurt Motor Show Headlines Electric Cars


The 64th International Motor Show to be held in Frankfurt, Germany would have a new line-up of new cars to offer the discerning car lover. The centerpieces used to be the latest in turbo charging as well as cam heads, now it it is batteries and electric motors.

In the latest holding of the show, BMW would unveil its i3 concept car. Volkswagen would also introduce its electric compact version, the UPI and the single seater Nils. The Audi would also showcase its Urban, their version of electric car as well as the A2 electric concept.

Overall, there would be eighty-nine new car models that would be unveiled in the motor show, from 1,007 participants ranging from cars to auto parts manufacturers. The theme of this year’s show is “Future comes as standard”. This in itself highlights the importance and the increased presence of environmentally friendly electric cars.

Mercedes Benz does not want to be left behind and is introducing its high end F125 electric car together with its standard engine models such as the B Class Benz, the SLS AMG, the SLK 250 CDI and the SLK55 AMG.

For its part, Toyota would be introducing the new hybrid version of its popular Lexus GS450h model. Also in its line up are the Avensis, the Prius as well, as the Lexus 450h. From France’s Peugeot, the first diesel hybrid would be introduced in its 3008, Sport 908, the 508RXH. It would also unveil its HX1 plug-in model. Hyundai-Kia would introduce its first European line, the i40 hatchback and its electric car, the BlueOn.

For all the participants, new regulations have made the new cars in the show much more important. The U.S. has recently instituted new fuel efficiency standards that automakers need to comply in order to be allowed to sell in the world’s second largest car market; cars need to run at 35.5 mpg by 2016 and 54.5 mpg by 2025.

To be able to sell in the European market, the European Union has imposed stricter standards on gas emissions as well as new tax regulations on car sales. In addition, there is a greater push for smaller vehicles, mainly as a result of the global recession as buyers have lower budgets with lesser disposable incomes.

The show would run from September 13 to 25, 2011 at the Messegelände in Frankfurt, Germany.