Is There A More Fuel-Efficient Car Than The Hybrid?

With all of the cars that are on the market, you may be thinking that there must be a car you haven’t discovered yet. You’ve heard of convertibles, Mazdas, Fords, and Buicks. And, you being an educated car-buyer, know all about hybrid cars, too. But surely, you think to yourself, there must be a more fuel-efficient car than a hybrid. If only you could find it.

This car that you believe is more fuel-efficient than a hybrid car, must be hidden in the back of a dealership behind the red, green, and yellow cars. It must be stuck between a big SUV and a van somewhere.

And what does it take to fuel this car? You don’t know the answer to that question. You barely know if this type of car exists. But there just has to be something out there better than a hybrid car. You insist that it’s true.

Well, there are a few choices for you. You could be thinking that a very small conventional car is more fuel-efficient than a hybrid car. You could be thinking that an electric car is better than a hybrid car. You could also be thinking that the dealership employees must have some cars in the back that they are creating on the spot that run on anything but gasoline and batteries. These cars, you think to yourself, would be better buys than hybrid cars.

Well, electric cars don’t get better fuel-efficiency than hybrid cars mainly because a lot of times electric cars don’t even need gas to power them, so you can’t even compare electric cars to hybrid cars.

A small conventional is definitely not more fuel-efficient than a hybrid car because no conventional car is.

And there are not any just-made cars sitting in the back somewhere. Car dealerships don’t make cars. They sell them.

But the final answer to the question is the new fuel-economy numbers that have been issued by the EPA. Those numbers conclude that the most fuel-efficient cars available to the public when looking at 2008 models are hybrid cars. Just the Toyota Prius as an example has a combined highway or city mileage of 46. This and other hybrid cars have overcome the 40 miles per gallon mark.

So, it looks like there are no new discoveries to be made at the auto dealer. And that’s a good thing. You wouldn’t want to be outdone by the Joneses because you thought you bought a great car, but you saw that they had a better, more fuel-efficient one. Nope, that’s not going to be you. Now you are armed with the knowledge that hybrid cars are the most fuel-efficient cars around and until automakers start to come up with more ideas, a hybrid car is what you have to work with.

However, advancements in fuel-efficient cars are on the horizon. Auto manufacturers are working on plug-in hybrids, battery-electric cars, and gas-engine systems that are more efficient. So look out, your dream car is coming soon. But if for now, you just buy a hybrid, you won’t regret it.

Cars: The Used And The New Are Beautiful

12853408423 1c6675e2c2 Cars: The Used And The New Are Beautiful
Source: Flickr


Whether buying used or new cars, both options have advantages and disadvantages that the car buyer alone would be the best person to be knowledgeable about as he or she would know what would work well as according to his/her needs, wants, preference, budget and whim.

The following are basic factors to consider in buying a used or a new car:

The price.

Those on a stringent budget would find used cars a good deal. Though there are a handful of new cars that sell for less than ten thousand dollars, the ones that cost less usually have only a few amenities, with some having none of the following: air-conditioning, stereo. Sometimes the cars come with only two doors or one of the power windows is broken, if there are power windows at all. On the other hand, the availability of three to four-year old used cars loaded with more than the bare-boned features of a basic used car – such as a CD player, air conditioning, airbags – gives the used car buyer a great deal.

But still, the pricey new cars are costly because of the updated safety features they carry: de-powered airbags as well as “smart” front and side protection airbags. New vehicles also carry whimsical features such as: beverage holders that keep drinks cool or hot.

The choice depends on you, your priorities and your purchasing power.

The warranty.

New vehicles usually are under warranty for a minimum of three years to a maximum of ten. Hyundai and Kia provide ten year warranty for their vehicles. DaimlerChrysler offers a seven year warranty for their Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep models. So does Isuzu.

Some eligible late-model used cars could complete their original warranty and could just as well be extended if they are protected by the vehicle certification program. If not, used car owners could shell out a few hundred to be able to extend their service warranty or contract.

The mileage.

Newly-bought used cars come with mileage already spent. New vehicles basically do not need maintenance for the first thousands of miles, and if they do, car manufacturers cover the oil change and their tune-up as well as other fundamental maintenance services.

Specially made cars

Used car buyers usually have to content themselves with as-is vehicles whose color may not be that perfect shade of red, green or blue. Buyers of new cars however, have the option of a varied range of colors or car features that used cars have not. Car dealers usually cater to the tastes and impulse of a car buyer and usually would even satisfy a customer by specially-ordering a vehicle.

Record Gas Prices Spark Interest in Electric Cars


Prices at the pump are driving more car buyers to look into electricity as an alternative fuel source.

This summer, oil and gas prices surged to new highs. Oil reached $70 per barrel for the first time in history in August, boosting prices at the gas pump to $3 per gallon in many parts of the country.

The rising prices have sparked a high interest in electric cars, scooters, bicycles and all-terrain vehicles, said Alex Campbell, spokesman for Zap, a company that makes battery-powered vehicles.

“We have had thousands of people calling and e-mailing us in the past few months,” Campbell said. “The economics of oil are becoming an issue for average consumers. And when you look at the cost of plugging in versus pumping gas, it makes a lot of sense.”

Gas cars use about 12 cents’ worth of fuel for every mile, whereas electric cars use only 3 cents’ worth. That means an electric car can travel four times as far as a gasoline car for the same money. Other vehicles, like electric bicycles, use about a penny’s worth of energy for every five miles and achieve an average fuel efficiency of more than 1,000 miles per gallon.

Driving an electric car is not only good for your pocketbook, it’s good for the environment. Electric cars emit 98 percent less pollution than gas cars, even after accounting for power plant emissions. This can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which scientists say contribute to global warming and climate change.

“Driving an electric car is a new experience that you have to try to understand,” Campbell said. “Once people add an electric car to their family, most people prefer to use the electric car over the gas car.”

A Green Car Institute study of electric car use in California shows that when given the choice between an electric car and a conventional one, owners chose the electric 90 percent of the time. The cars can be plugged into a regular 110-volt outlet to be recharged.

You Can Build Your Car Powered By Solar, A Green Energy Source

You Can Build Your Car Powered By Solar, A Green Energy Source

All cars are powered by gas. But with the volatility of crude oil prices and because it is not a renewable, something must be done before it is too late. Given that solar energy, a green energy source is used to power a community, you can also do this on a small scale by using the same principles to build your own car.

But what do you need to make this work? A lot of things but the two most important are the solar array and the batteries.

The solar array is vital because this is what’s used to collect the sun’s rays and then converts this into electrical energy. There are two types to choose from in the market namely the prefabricated type and the individual kind which you set up yourself.

If you are looking for branded parts, check out either Siemens or ASE Americas that sell terrestrial grade cells and the space grade cells. The lower end model which can produce a significant amount of power is the terrestrial grade version.

Proper wiring must be done to make sure that if one of the panels is not working, your vehicle will still move. If you are worried that the voltage of the solar array should match the system voltage of your motor, you should not to worry because it will still run.

We mentioned earlier that the battery is also important because this is where the solar energy will be stored. Your options for this are lead acid, lithium-ion or nickel-cadmium. Just how many you need to buy will depend on your motor’s voltage.

When you finally have these two components, these will now have to be connected to the motor. So you know how much juice is left in your batteries, you will also need to install instrumentation similar to the heads up display console on regular cars which tells you your speed, mileage and gas.

Don’t forget to put a steering wheel, suspension, brakes, tires and hubs. You may not be able to make a car that have the same features as like what you see done by one of the three US automakers but just enough to be able to drive it from one place to the next.

The only cars that use solar energy so far are the ones only used in races especially the one held in Australia from travels from the northern part of the country all the way to the south. If this has helped people realize that renewable energy is really the key to the future, the big automakers should try tapping this technology instead of relying of still relying on gasoline.

But apart from solar energy as a green energy source, biodiesel is another alternative. This is a combination of alcohol like methanol and a chemical process that separates glycerine and methyl esters (biodiesel) from fats or vegetable oils. This can also be done using corn and sugarcane.

Although these are not renewable, these are still considered as a green energy sources because it is cleaner than conventional gasoline. This means you do not release harmful chemicals such as carbon monoxide into the air which causes damage to the environment. So if you can’t build a solar powered car, consider a different fuel alternative.

Compact Hybrid Or Roomy Big Engine

6963455140 04ff6a1a62 Compact Hybrid Or Roomy Big Engine
Source: Flickr

There is a lot to compromise and consider when buying a hybrid car. A hybrid can cost $2,000 to $10,000 more than a comparable conventional vehicle. It is well known that to help with this initial cost, and to encourage people to buy hybrids, the Government offers incentives and tax breaks. There are standards for which hybrid cars have to qualify just for you to get a tax deduction including averaging at least 45 miles per gallon and complying with higher emission standards. If you are concerned about these costs and getting a tax break you really do have to look into this. Not all hybrid auto’s meet these standards and the tax break vary’s from state to sate.

Preliminary research has shown that hybrid drivers make fewer insurance claims. That is being reflected in insurance premiums .A quick phone call to your insurance agency can inform you about these costs.

On another note,Consumer advocate testing has shown that hybrid savings in fuel economy usually fails to offset the extra purchase price. Isn’t that the number one reason why most people want to buy a hybrid.

Having a quiet engine is a cool feature, until someone walks behind you as your backing because they can’t hear your engine running. Currently hybrids don’t come with alot options. Regular options are popular and expected,like lighted vanity mirrors,more trunk space,power windows and rear window wipers.

Manufacturers, like Toyota, Honda and Ford, must feel confident about their cars because they offer up to 8 and 10 year warranties on hybrid-specific components.

Facts to consider are that green cars use more energy to produce, are harder to dispose of, their fuel economy claims have been doubted and the higher costs of buying and maintaining one are real.

Automobile sales dictate that we like our high powered cars with lots of options. Hybrids have a futuristic look and appear to be small. Hybrid sales indicate that we are not ready to give in to high gas prices and compromise to the smaller,less powerful green cars.

Everyone likes the idea of hybrid cars,taking care of the environment and saving money. Todays Hybrid cars don’t seem to fit that scenario. Today’s drivers are not all that excited about making the many compromises to drive a hybrid automobile.

Can You Use a Green Energy Source like Water to Power a Car?

7978895897 b7f223eebf Can You Use a Green Energy Source like Water to Power a Car?
Source: Flickr

For more than a century, we rely on oil to fuel our cars. But did you know that the world’s oil is close to drying up because it is a nonrenewable resource? Well that may not happen tomorrow or next year but we are getting closer because of the demand in the world market. Why wait for that day when we can rely on a green energy source like water to power our cars.

Water can power a car? If you think that’s impossible, well it is already here but this is not yet being made on a commercial scale.

The German automobile BMW has produced the world’s first ever hydrogen powered car. While only 100 of these units were produced, you can already imagine if more of these vehicles are on the road.

The initial model namely the BMW Hydrogen 7 uses the body of the 760i model. Once you pop the hood, you will notice that the engine is different since it uses gas and hydrogen.

This just means we have not yet totally abandoned are dependence on gas. Given more time and money, the current 4.7 miles per gallon it can travel using water alone could hit double digits in the future.

The biggest challenge to using water as a green energy source as opposed to oil in vehicles is the engine. While there are cars around like the Prius which runs on electricity and gas thanks to fuel cell technology, the hydrogen combustion is less than 10 years old so you could say we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg.

To prevent the water from evaporating, this has to be stored in a large, 30-gallon, bi-layered and highly insulated tank so this does not evaporate into compressed gas. Another safety mechanism is the valves which are designed to open should the pressure within the tank exceed 5 bars.

With the success of the BMW H7, the company came out with a new car that is also partly powered by water known as the H2R. While we cannot yet put our garden hose into the fuselage to fill it up, this vehicle uses liquid nitrogen as a fuel.

Tests on this vehicle have shown it can achieve 285hp and reach a top cruising speed of 185.5 miles per hour. It can also accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour under 6 seconds.

But why use water? It is because hydrogen combustion is clean so it does not emit harmful gases into the atmosphere unlike cars that run on petrol or diesel that emit carbon monoxide. Studies have shown that it also weighs less than hydrocarbon-based fuels and burns faster than conventional gasoline.

So when can you expect to buy a car that uses water as a green energy source? Hopefully in the next 10 to 20 years. It is really up to the automakers because all we can do is wait until a better and clear car hits the dealership.

Right now, the best option we have are electric cars. Since its introduction in 1999, more people are using it because they don’t want to spend anymore for gasoline that could hit an all time high of more than $110 per barrel.

If water as a green energy source can be used to power a car, why don’t we do the same for solar power which has been around much longer?

Why Plug-in Hybrid Cars May Not Be As Green As You Think

8445719684 76321e46fe Why Plug in Hybrid Cars May Not Be As Green As You Think
Source: Flickr

If you think that you will be making a difference in the environment by purchasing a plug-in hybrid car, you may want to give your purchase a bit more thought. Plug-in hybrids do help with the environment, but just because they don’t depend on fuel as much as regular hybrid cars do, doesn’t mean they are extremely beneficial to the environment. Actually, for many reasons, plug-in hybrid cars are not much better than regular hybrid cars when it comes to the green house effect and the ozone layer.

The reason why plug-in hybrid cars are not much better than the environment has to do with the type of power they use. The electricity that hybrid cars run off of usually comes from coal-fired plants. Therefore, a plug-in hybrid car would only be a little bit better for the environment than a regular hybrid car.

Still, some people believe that this isn’t true. Plug-in hybrid cars are better for the environment than regular hybrid cars, they insist. This is because some people believe that hands down electric power is much cleaner than fuel power. People who insist plug-in hybrid cars are better for the environment also say that plug-in hybrid cars don’t really need a lot of electricity to power them. They recharge their own batteries. So they don’t have to be dependent on other sources of power. The electric sockets are used merely to top off those batteries.

These people point out that it’s also not that you must plug it in, but that you can plug it in, and that makes a huge difference. If you can plug it in, you don’t have to use electricity that comes from coal-fired plants.

But people who say that plug-in hybrids aren’t that good for the environment might say that sure, you don’t have to plug it in, but if you don’t, you are just depending on gasoline. Then, there’s no point of even having the debate about plug-in hybrid cars. And hey, if we are going to go back to using gasoline, how about we just scrap the idea of plug-in hybrid cars in general?

The point is this: These kinds of hybrid cars can be worthwhile to own, but don’t think these hybrid cars will be the answer to all of your problems. If you are a tree lover, maybe stick to finding out a way to decrease the use of aerosol sprays and cigarette smoke. But when it comes to hybrid cars. You might be doing about the same for the environment if you bought either a regular hybrid car or a plug-in hybrid car. But either way, you are doing better than you would be if you bought a conventional car.

Plug-in hybrid cars are great hybrid cars to own and they are easy to love, but you might not want to make your expectations too high or you may end up disappointed. But in any case, make no mistake; a plug-hybrid car will be one of the best hybrid cars to buy when it comes out.

The Saturn Hybrid And Other Green Cars: An Review Of Eco-Friendly Vehicles

8647498544 a6bf9a4818 The Saturn Hybrid And Other Green Cars: An Review Of Eco Friendly Vehicles
Source: Flickr

Hybrid cars or the hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) are the best solution for the growing fuel shortage problems that we have these days. Most car makers today have resorted to the design and production of hybrid cars in answer to the growing fuel crisis. And because of the ingenuity of the inventions, they are rapidly gaining popularity in the market. Terms such as “Saturn hybrid” and “Toyota hybrid cars” are now becoming ingrained in the lingo of auto enthusiasts.

The Government Supports Hybrid Use

The government for a number of good reasons is supporting hybrid cars. These cars are environmentally-friendly because they emit lesser pollutants. It has been noted that some hybrid cars lower pollution rates by up to 90% as compared to conventional cars.

Another good reason is that they are a wise solution to the growing fuel shortage. They economize fuel consumption, making them double efficient for what they usually provide. This is because most of the kinetic power that was wasted in the traditional fully internal combustion engine is now being converted into useful energy.

Because of these good features, the government offers tax incentives for buying hybrid cars.

Efficient, Low Maintenance and Fuel-Efficient

Hybrid cars need not to be plugged into an electrical outlet when charging the electric motor. They make use of a process called regenerative braking. While the vehicle is running with the use of the internal combustion engine, the electric motor is being charged. In driving situations where internal combustion engines are less efficient (as in slow city driving), the electric motor will take over with minimal intervention from the driver.

Initially, purchasing a hybrid is not easy on the pocket because hybrid car prices are higher than ordinary car prices. But in the long run, they prove to be more economical and they offer more benefits than the traditional cars.

In addition, hybrid cars have lower depreciation rates than traditional cars. Also, unlike traditional cars that run on internal combustion engine, they require lesser maintenance thus greatly reducing cost and trouble of having to owning a vehicle.

Hybrid Models and Car Makers

Aside from sedans, there are also available models of hybrid pickup trucks and hybrid minivans. Not only this, hybrid power technology in the area of public transportation is gaining rapid popularity and it is expected to be available soon in many areas of the transport industry.

Car makers have been competing to offer the market the best of hybrid cars. There are many beautiful models to choose from. The buyer may find it hard to make a decision given the stylish designs, performance and price of the various models. Consumers have a wide selection from low-end to high-end cars; they offer benefits that are worth their price.

Toyota Hybrid Cars

There is a long line of Toyota hybrid cars but car reviews have shown that the Toyota Prius is the undisputed favorite. This hybrid car from Toyota is a real looker. In addition, it has the most efficient miles-per-gallon report.

Honda Hybrid Cars

Honda hybrid cars also compete strongly in design and efficiency. The Honda Civic hybrid is the closest in comparison to the most priced Toyota Prius.

Ford Hybrid Cars

Ford hybrid cars offer their well-regarded Escape model. It has a very sleek design and competitive miles-per-gallon efficiency. The interior of the car employs modern designs. It is very efficient to use. In addition to the existing line of Ford hybrid cars, they are about to launch the model that will compete with Toyota’s Prius model.

Saturn Hybrid Cars

“Go green without going broke” is the slogan being touted by the Saturn hybrids. In support of this slogan, they offer good hybrids at lower cost. Their use of “mild hybrid” technology means that they can offer some of the benefits of hybrids without having to increase their selling price all that much.

Convertible Hybrids

While hybrid cars have been widely popular for quite a long time now, hybrid convertibles are on their baby stage as yet. There are not that many models to choose from in the market. Many car enthusiasts have been waiting for the arrival of this type of vehicle on the scene. There is a model launched in the market by Saab.

Whatever model a consumer may choose, green-technology cars such as the Saturn hybrid are better in many ways than the traditional gasoline-guzzling cars. In times when fuel shortage and pollution of the environment are recognized as two of the foremost public issues, the use of this new technology promises to bring a positive contribution.

How Business Vehicle Tracking Can Help Fleets Be Used Much More Efficiently

lorry How Business Vehicle Tracking Can Help Fleets Be Used Much More Efficiently

When you have vehicles as part of your logistics in a business, it is very important that you make full use of them, so that costs can be kept under control. This requires that they have no idle time, use travel times effectively and have the least turnaround times. All this requires that the vehicles be constantly tracked. This is where the use of devices for business vehicle tracking systems enables controllers and administrators to have the necessary information always at their fingertips so that vehicles are used efficiently.

Tracking devices are installed in vehicles that enable information about the position of the vehicle to be available at their control points on a real time basis. Software installed at these control stations will have maps that will display the location of the tracked vehicle at all times. It is possible in many systems to relay traffic information so that routes can be planned to the destinations, so that there are no holdups. It can also be of great help to customer service departments, as customers can be given up to the minute information on delivery of material. In a way this also helps turnaround times, as the receiving parties can then keep their own receiving locations, equipment and staff ready, without having to wait. This allows unloading or loading operations to be completed quicker. The result is very satisfied customers, which can only be good for business.

A business vehicle tracking system can also become a very efficient administrative control for fleet managers. They can monitor speed of vehicles, driving behaviour, unnecessary stoppages and other things that affect utilization of vehicles. Routes can be planned in advance so that fuel efficiency is high. The software on most of these systems allows reports to be prepared on vehicle movement and usage, which can be very useful to supervisory staff, and those who need to plan logistics.

Most business vehicle tracking systems rely on the internet, but can use software that is available online or one that is locally installed. Both systems will need internet connectivity, but locally installed software can be tailor made to the requirements of a business, so that it takes in all its particular details and helps in proper fleet management. It helps to reduce unauthorized movement of vehicles and this can help to reduce incidences of theft. The installation of these systems also enables fleet owners to obtain discounts on vehicle insurance.

Gearing Up Your Car Today

10593314813 a19a3317d7 Gearing Up Your Car Today
Source: Flickr

Wouldn’t it be nice to be justly rewarded to be green conscious? Well, in this latest move by the B.C. government which offers to as much as $2,000 on fuel efficient hybrid cars, people are getting a feel of just how it is to make that shift to these hybrid and fuel efficient cars.

True enough, such a rewarding option has also helped car manufacturers like Toyota to benefit from this new development. One of the top model hybrid cars of this Japan-based car manufacturing, the Prius, has been the prime target of consumers for their transportation needs today. And mind you, the Prius does not come cheap. One unit alone costs $32,000, not a cheap price to pay for hybrid cars offered for a greener outlook in the world today.

Incentives are known to be good rewards that can entice a market and make them fully aware of the actual intent of governments; that of which is to feel how it is to be rewarded by being green.

In a move to help promote the shift from gas to electricity as their main source of power, various groups have experimented and come up with an electricity reliant car to reduce the gas emissions that have been key contributors to overall pollution and impending global warming.

While the big car manufacturers have not yet gone on the aggressive development for these alternative cars, a lot of the old cars that are mostly left to rot or be junked have been the guinea pigs for this alternative source of energy and fuel. Some may question the reliability of such conversions but it is best to get in depth to see how car engines can be transformed into this green movement as far as vehicles are concerned.

Whether you prefer a Toyota, a Honda or even the high-end luxury cars such as Mercedes Benz, green standard compliant cars would normally have less impact on any potential buyer. Reason for such is usually due to the fact that they are too bent on checking out the features such as power features and of course bonuses installed if and when they purchase cars.

In these cases, green standards are usually taking a backseat. Pollution control due to greenhouse gas emissions are almost a given when you purchase a new car. Maintenance is another thing but if you are buying a new car, chances are, these issues will only set in after 5 years and up.

Just think of it. Why would anyone buy a car that would be a smoke-belching vehicle. It is like buying a second-hand car for nothing special.

Most of us really want to live luxuriously and comfortably. Consumers dream of having their own means of transportation and while cars are within their reach, there is another issue that needs to be addressed…pollution and greenhouse gases.

The air we breathe right now is contaminated. We can smell it and that awkward and different smell is the participation of pollution in the usually clean air we breathe. While people are more concerned of living better lives with good transportation, their health may be in jeopardy.

The increase in the number of motor vehicles, industrial and commercial activities, coupled with the rise in construction work in and around the city, is translating into a lot of air and noise pollution for the residents.

Almost every part of the city suffers on account of air and noise pollution, much of it caused by automobiles. The city’s ambient air quality on several parameters leaves much to be desired, with the levels of pollution above the permissible limits.