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Hybrid cars will change our future for the better - eliminating the use of fossil fuels.

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Introduction

Will Hybrid cars will change our future for the better This project is designed to provide access to information for people about some of the technology available to us now that can reduce our fossil fuel usage, or possibly eliminate it all together, resulting in cleaner air and a better environment. Society is now taking its first baby steps towards eliminating its dependence on fossil fuels, and it starts with information and education about the alternatives that exist to power our lives for the future. We know that fossil fuels are a finite resource, and burning them is harmful to the environment, yet we don't want to give up our cars. The car has been so entrenched in our society that its unlikely to go away, but it will need to change dramatically to embrace new propulsion technology. While fully electric cars offering performance equal to current cars are someway off, petrol - electric 'hybrid' cars like Toyota's Prius, Honda's Insight and new Civic Hybrid debut new thinking. The principle behind them is, simply, the combination of a small, efficient petrol engine and powerful electric motor. Combined they offer impressive output with 60+mpg easily achievable the batteries for the electric motor cleverly store re-generated energy produced when the car brakes. How do hybrid vehicles work? ...read more.

Middle

Newly available automotive technology, are known as hybrid electric vehicles (HEV). Hybrid power systems were conceived as a way to compensate for the shortfall in battery technology. Hybrid electric vehicles recharge as you drive, get approximately double the miles per gallon of gas than current vehicles and can be refueled at any gas station. Each hybrid vehicle will produce thousands fewer pounds of pollutants than the vehicles currently on the road. According to Department of Energy estimates, a hybrid car driven 12,000 miles per year will cut carbon dioxide emissions by 4,700 pounds over its predecessor, says the National Resources Defense Council article on earth smart cars.(National Resources Defense Council). There are currently two hybrid electric vehicles that will soon be out in the UK, and on the market hopefully in the year 2003. The Honda Insight was the first hybrid electric vehicle to be available for public purchase in the United States. The Honda Insight is a two-seat sporty car that has earned the best EPA mileage rating in history, rated at 61 miles per gallon in the city and 68 miles per gallon on the highway (Honda 6). Because of its size, however, I am not quite sure about the safety and durability of this car. ...read more.

Conclusion

Hydrogen is fuelling BMW's future plans; however, a different route has been taken. The German giant favours hydrogen-powered combustion engines, just like todays car use, but with one major difference; the only thing coming out of the fuel pipe, as with the fuel cell cars, will be water. This has been made possible by hydrogen's combustion characteristics, which are not that dissimilar to that of petrol. The main stumbling block is the availability of liquid hydrogen. Its so volatile, it has to be stored very carefully, meaning a huge investment will have to be made before the project is viable. But so long as hydrogen is produced using 'renewable' resources such as wind or solar power, we really will finally have 'environmentally-neutral' cars. The car is not dead yet, thanks to the huge efforts manufacturers are putting into developing alternative fuels. As yet we cant be certain which of the above technologies, if indeed any will dominate, but with incresing concern over the limited supply of fossil fuels, and the environment, one thing for certain, the car as we know it is changing - for the better. Biography:- Toyota website. Hybrid Electric Vehicle Program. Toyota Prius. Details, FAQ. Toyota Prius. Details, Specs and Features. Toyota Prius, Technology. Statistics from www.fuelecomony.gov. ...read more.

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