American motorists have feared the increase in gas price since it reached the three dollar mark last summer. This resulted to the number of car buyers turning their backs on gas-guzzling vehicles which have dominated the roads of the United States in the past years.
The most common answer to car buyer’s need for a fuel efficient vehicle is a hybrid electric vehicle. Since Toyota introduced the Prius in the U.S. auto scene, hybrid vehicles are becoming more and more popular. Aside from the Toyota Prius, there is now a host of hybrid vehicles being offered in the market from different automobile manufacturers.
Aside from new models of hybrids, car manufacturers like Honda have produced hybrid versions of their popular models like the Accord.
The number of hybrid vehicles in the market will surely increase as the demand for these fuel misers increases. Different car manufacturers have already announced that they will be producing hybrid vehicles which will be available for American car buyers in the near future. These vehicles are hybrid versions of popular models from different brands.
Hybrid vehicles which will hit showrooms around the United States include the Audi Q7 Hybrid and two Chevy models with hybrid versions – the Malibu and the Tahoe. Ford will also introduce hybrid versions of their Fusion and Expedition models. The GMC Yukon Hybrid will also be offered soon as well as the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid. Other hybrid vehicles coming soon are the Mazda Tribute Hybrid, the Mercury Milan Hybrid, and the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid.
These vehicles uses electric motors to assist a small internal combustion engine which may be fitted with aftermarket parts like Plymouth cold air intake system to further save on fuel and provide a good performance.
Hybrid vehicles are differentiated into two. The first one is for fuel efficiency purposes. An example of vehicles using hybrid technology for fuel economy is the Toyota Prius. Vehicles using the technology to save on fuel are designed for city driving where frequent acceleration and deceleration increase the amount of fuel consumed by a vehicle. Hybrid technology allows the engine to shut down when decelerating or during brief stops on intersections or traffic lights.
The other use of hybrid technology is to improve performance. The electric motor gives additional power to the engine to give a vehicle good acceleration and the battery pack also supplies power to other system like electronic power steering system. In this use of hybrid technology, fuel consumption is reduced only slightly since the vehicle is not designed to run on electric motor power alone.
Nevertheless, the use of hybrid technology is a good step towards improvement of the performance and fuel economy of mass produced vehicles. Currently though, the price of hybrid vehicles are significantly higher than conventional gasoline engined vehicles.