Category Archives: -Hybrids-

5 Things You Should Know About Alternative-Fuel Vehicles

If you’re making an effort to go green, it’s time to consider an alternative-fuel vehicle. This one, simple change will help you lower greenhouse gas emissions, save on fuel costs, and qualify for tax breaks. Before you take the plunge and buy a brand new Tesla, do some research to help you determine the best vehicle for your lifestyle. In June of 2017, CarMax teamed with CleanTechnica to find out more about the people who drive alternative-fuel vehicles. Their survey resulted in a whopping 2,300 responses, and we’ve sifted through the data to answer these 5 frequently asked questions.

  1. Who buys alternative-fuel vehicles?

You may think that all hybrid owners are millennial hipsters with ironic t-shirts and Bernie Sanders bumper stickers. However, the reality is quite different. The average hybrid-owner is a 30-year-old male from the east coast with a bachelor’s degree. The truth may be surprising, but you can’t argue with the numbers:

  • 88% of alternative-fuel vehicle owners are more than 30-years-old.
  • 70% of the responses came from people with bachelor’s degree or higher
  • 26% of the responses came from the pacific coast

  1. Why do people buy hybrid and electric vehicles?

For many people, alternative-fuel vehicles have less to do with environmental concerns and more to do with practical considerations. More than half of the survey’s respondents report spending less than $100 per year on vehicle maintenance. In addition, more than 60% of the respondents expect to own their vehicle for more than 4 years. Last, but not least, some cities offer tax credits and HOV lane perks to drivers with hybrid or electric vehicles. Here are the details:

  • 29% purchased their vehicle to save money
  • 38% purchased their vehicle to save the environment
  • 29% purchased their vehicle for another reason
  1. How far can a person drive without recharging?

Range anxiety is one big reason why people hesitate to purchase alternative-fuel vehicles. Fortunately, these fears are (mostly) unfounded. Less than a quarter of all survey respondents have driven their vehicle until running ran out of fuel. On the other hand, nearly half of survey’s respondents have never driven more than 100 miles on a single charge. Here’s the breakdown:

  • 42% have a second non-electric vehicle for long trips
  • 14% have driven until they ran out of fuel and charge
  • 48% have never driven more than 100 miles on a single charge

  1. How do people charge their vehicles?

Charging stations are another other major hesitation among alternative-fuel vehicle owners. However, the survey results contradict this basic assumption. More than three quarters of the respondents own a vehicle with some sort of plug-in functionality. See for yourself:

  • 85% own a plug-in or all-electric vehicle
  • 84% of these people charge their vehicles in their home
  • 56% say it’s convenient to use a public charging station

  1. What are the most popular alternative-fuel vehicles?

The alternative fuel craze is really taking off. Since 2001, CarMax has sold nearly 100,000 electric and hybrid cars in the U.S. According to their survey, more than 75% of the respondents have owned their vehicle for two years or less. In addition, nearly two thirds of these vehicles were purchased by first-time alternative-fuel vehicle owners. That said, the top five most popular alternative-fuel vehicles are as follows:

We left the most important statistic for last. The CarMax survey also asked respondents whether or not they would recommend a hybrid vehicle to a friend or family member. On a scale of one to five, the average response was 4.8. I guess it’s true what they say–once you go green, you never go back.

Helpful Maintenance Tips For Your Hybrid Car To Keep It In Great Shape

At one juncture or another, it is important to know the answers to the fundamental questions before driving yourself into the technicalities. Most of us have similar issues on hybrid vehicles such as: Are hybrid cars expensive to maintain? Are their batteries costly to replace? Is it safe to drive a hybrid car? And many other similar questions.

Hence, if you have these kinds of questions in your mind, this article will answer most of your queries as well as give you helpful tips on how you can maintain a hybrid car.

The Basics Of A Hybrid Car

Hybrid cars are a little bit different from the regular cars when we start comparing their routine maintenance. Apart from the systems that monitor and control the additional electric drive motor and the onboard batteries, the routine maintenance for hybrid cars is a little more lock step with your dad’s Oldsmobile. Follow my regular car maintenance schedule to ensure you have all of the basic covered.

Full hybrid cars are uniquely designed, since they can shut off the internal combustion engine and move using the electric motor under particular conditions such as the light cruising and low-speed maneuvering. So the hybrid engine does not operate as hard by minimizing wear and tear. Also, hybrid cars regularly use regenerative braking systems that can both reduce wear on the brake’s components as well as charge the batteries.

Hence, What Is The Difference?

The train varies due to the way that their internal combustion engine, the transmission, and the electric drive motor are joined to operate more or less as a whole. One component that can affect the functioning of the others is the malfunctioning part. Critical troubleshooting, repair as well as diagnosis of this system is recommended to be dealt with by a professional.

 Maintenance tip:

You can inspect your transmission fluid, replace the spark plugs as well as air and fuel filters. However, delving much deeper needs specialized training.

Sophisticated Electronics

The complex electronic modules responsible for powering the electric drive engine for both regenerative braking as well as propulsion can produce a plenty amount of heat; hence, they regularly have their devoted cooling systems.

Your battery control module controls both the discharge and charge rates and the state of charge of the whole bank. These systems will use both heating and cooling systems to work consistently under most conditions.

 

Maintenance tip:

When engaging into the regular maintenance on your engine cooling system, always remember to take a look at the individual hoses, clamps, and pipes as well as the additional filters which might be utilized for the engine and battery heating/cooling system.

Be Safe: Beware the Orange

Hybrid vehicles are equipped with dual voltage systems. However, the electrical system a safe standard 12-volts, the drive engine and the related components use more than 100 volts. Your safety threshold is low; hence, an electrical shock having as little as 50 volts can be critical.

Your cables are wrapped in an orange casing to warn the operator as well as the technician of these high voltage circuits. The system should be depowered to maintain as well as repair these components in a safe way. This task is preferred to be performed by some experienced technicians.

Conclusion

A regular car needs a remarkably little maintenance which is one of its greatest attractions. On the other hand, a hybrid vehicle combines a regular engine with an electric motor; so a hybrid car requires more maintenance than the electric car. Before you decide on purchasing either of the two vehicles, it is important to know the kind of maintenance a particular kind of car requires.

Author  Bio

Stella Grant

My name is Stella Grant . I am the founder of Speedfinal.com . Automotive is my passion, and I’m looking forward to sharing it with everyone.

The Porsche 919 Hybrid Set to Conquer the 24 Hour Le Mans

Cars entered into the Le Mans P1 event have hybrid systems that use regenerative braking to capture energy when the car slows down. One of which is the Porsche 919 Hybrid. In 2017, Porsche is returning to the top class to defend its title as FIA WEC World Champion from 2015 and 2016 with the 919 Hybrid.

Porsche’s fourth-generation 919 Hybrid is powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder, two-liter petrol engine delivering almost 500 hp that drives the rear axle. Its ally is an additional electric motor delivering more than 400 hp to the front axle. The latter is fed by two energy recovery systems. Converted braking and exhaust energy is temporarily stored in a liquid cooled lithium-ion battery. Porsche is gaining key insights for series production have been obtained from the LMP1 prototype project: examples include the cooling for the battery and electric motor, the connection
technology for extreme high voltage as well as the battery management and the systems’ design.

With the 24 Hours of Le Mans around the corner, we thought we’d delve into the event and check out the cars in detail and see how they’re made in order to deal with this grueling race. We also find out how Guido Van Der Garde prepares for Le Mans 24 Hours and the difference between Le Man and Formula 1. We’ve also thrown in a few tips if you’re going to attempt to watch the full 24 Hours without falling asleep.

How To Conquer 24 Hours of Le Mans
How To Conquer 24 Hours of Le Mans by SELECT CAR LEASING.

Hybrid-powered vehicles that are cost efficient too

To have an affordable hybrid car is now a great way to reduce your impact on the environment while saving money on a daily basis for yourself – owning a car that combines a classic engine with an electrical powered one gives you versatility and breaks the dependence on oil. Luckily, these wonderful machines have been on the market long enough to give you plenty of options to choose from without breaking the bank.

LA Auto Show 2016 ⓒNAKIzm  #honda #civic #accord @laautoshow #cuv #design #car #california #dreams #concept #auto #hybrid #conceptcar #nakizm #naki #photo #photography #photographer #tokyocameraclub #laautoshow #lifestyle #motor #ev #2016 #brand #new #sed

  1. Honda Civic Hybrid

Honda Civic Hybrid uses the electrical and gas engines simultaneously while driving, so technically it is not a full hybrid, but combining the two efficiently gives you reduced consumption. The two engines are sandwiched together and work as one, the Honda efficiently recharging its battery while driving on gas. Overall, The Civic is reliable and efficient if you don’t have speed in mind. This car will not go fast, but it will definitely help you reduce the costs and impact on the environment at an affordable price.

  • Price: $25,555
  • Miles per gallon city: 44
  • Miles per gallon highway: 47

 

  1. Toyota Prius Liftback

Toyota exceeds expectations even more with the Prius Liftback, maximizing the fuel economy levels and efficiency. The improvements are given by the reduced size and weights of the hybrid components and the increased cargo space achieved by moving the battery beneath the front seat. It is also so quiet that, when operating on the electric engine alone, the Prius Liftback emits a low warning tone that alerts pedestrians and cyclists of its approach.

  • Price: $25,025
  • Miles per gallon city: 51
  • Miles per gallon highway: 48

 

  1. Ford C-MAX

The Ford C-MAX is a spacious car, especially for a hybrid, that balances the pretty large size with a low consumption meant to rival its competitors on the market. The improvements made by Ford to the previous model include a more aerodynamic shape, more horsepower which allows you to reach a reasonable speed and comfortable, good quality interior.

  • Price: $24,995
  • Miles per gallon city: 42
  • Miles per gallon highway: 37

Ford C-Max

 

  1. Honda CR-Z

Honda CR-Z is the sporty car of our selection, aiming to appeal to motorists who want to feel a bit of excitement while keeping the advantages of a hybrid. While some may argue that the car is not as sporty as it looks, it has a feature that allows you to boost the speed temporarily with assistance from the electric engine only.This two-seater car is happily combining sportiness with eco friendliness and you can have a lot of fun driving it, as long as you keep in mind that it is not a sports car per se.

  • Price: $20,965
  • Miles per gallon city: 36
  • Miles per gallon highway: 39

 

  1. Toyota Prius c

We saved one of the best for last, as the Prius stands in its own category on the hybrid market and the c model is the least expensive hybrid you can find at this moment. It is a roomy car that does not accelerate much but offers one of the best mpg on the market. One of the ways Toyota made this price possible was to use less sophisticated materials for the interior, which will be noticeable when compared to its rivals. However, the interior is spacious, suitable for families with dogs or large grocery trips.If you are interested in reducing fuel consumption (whether it is for economic or ecological purposes) and you don’t necessarily want a car that goes fast, the Toyota Prius c is one of the best options you have.

  • Price: $19,905
  • Miles per gallon city: 53
  • Miles per gallon highway: 46

IMG_7909

Believe it or not, hybrid-powered vehicles can be cost-efficient too. The secret is to invest smart. Before spending any money, settle on some priorities. What are you looking for in a car? Do you want a fast ride, family ride, or are you looking for speed and high performance? Regardless of your choice, it is fundamental to have a budget first. Hustle and do your research properly before anything else, and then you can decide. Look under the hood, check Porsche wheels or any other parts that you’re familiar with, and make the most of your investment.

 

 

 

Jaguar C-X75: The Hybrid Supercar We’d All Love To Own Some Day

Jaguar is no stranger to designing innovative and powerful concept cars. Many of these prototypes go on to become production vehicles. One model that got everyone talking was the Jaguar C-X75.

 

It first got unveiled back at the 2010 Paris Motor Show. Jaguar says the car started life as a design concept and reached the prototype stage in just two years. That is quite impressive given the styling of the car. And also the unique way this hybrid monster works!

 

The Jaguar C-X75 is a sports car that we’d all love to own some day. But the sad news is that the project got shelved. The reason? Jaguar Land Rover stated few people would buy it at this moment in time “as a result of the global economic climate.”

Image via Flickr

 

I suspect the price of the car had something to do with Jaguar’s decision to pull the plug on the C-X75 supercar project. Would you pay between £800k to £1 million for a hybrid supercar during today’s austere times? Nope, me neither!

 

Sadly that means you aren’t likely to see the C-X75 as one of the H.A. Fox Jaguars on display at their showroom. Still, that doesn’t you and I from wanting to get behind the wheel of one some day (after winning the lottery, of course)!

So, what is it that makes this unique car a serious contender for supercars like the Porsche 918 Spyder? And various Ferraris and Lamborghinis?

 

The Jaguar C-X75: an eco-friendly supercar?

 

The four-wheel drive Jaguar C-X75 supercar is quite a unique hybrid vehicle. It boasts a ridiculous 850 brake horsepower and 1,000 Nm of torque! But what is it that produces such a monstrous amount of power?

 

According to Jaguar, the car uses four electric motors – one to power each of the four wheels. The batteries these electric motors are all connected to get charged from two micro gas turbine engines. Yes, that’s right: gas turbine!

 

Bladon Jets in Worcestershire built the turbines. On an all-electric range, the car can only do 70 miles. The Jaguar C-X75 boasts a combined range of 560 miles. In fuel economy terms, that equates to just under 30 miles per gallon.

 

The Jaguar C-X75 also has a Formula One race-inspired 1.6-litre twin-charged diesel engine. This four-cylinder engine alone produces 502 brake horsepower. The rest of the power gets generated by the electric motors.

 

Because the car only weighs 1,350 kilograms, it can reach 60 miles per hour from a standing start in just over three seconds.

 

It’s also an eco-friendly supercar. With carbon emissions of just 89 grams per kilometre, it would be exempt from car tax in the UK. Now if that’s not a reason to convince your spouse that you want to buy a supercar, I don’t know what is!

 

Setting out blueprints for future supercars

 

At the time, Adrian Hallmark, Jaguar’s Global Brand Director, had this to say:

 

“[The Jaguar C-X75] represents the pinnacle of Jaguar’s engineering and design expertise.”


He also went on to say how it’s likely the car will be used as the basis for future Jaguar supercar projects.

The Dangers of a Hybrid Vehicle

 

The year 1886 is widely thought to be the year that birthed the automobile. Since then there have been numerous advances in the industry to the point where there is 454 passenger cars for every 1000 people in the UK.

However, with all the pollutants that these vehicles gave off, there was bound to be some kind of negative reaction, this being the unbalancing of the environment i.e. with all the trees being cut down, the carbon dioxide released from cars isn’t balanced by the amount of oxygen. Automakers answer to this? The electric car.

But, the problem that came with this is that electric cars actually turned out to be pretty harmful to the environment too, as the production of the batteries not only produced harmful by-products, but also required extensive use of fossil fuels.

So, in answer to this problem, Hybrid vehicles were born (because we simply can’t walk), a combination of both gasoline and electric-based automobiles. But, of course, this concept of an eco-car wasn’t a perfect one either, they rarely are. So what’s the problem? Read on and you’ll find out.

 A thunderous silence

From the beginning, there were questions over whether or not the sound of engines, or lack of, would create problems for pedestrians, as they can’t hear the car well enough when it’s driving at low speeds to be able to know whether or not it is coming.

This problem would be even worse for those who are not only hard of hearing, but those with poor sight as they rely somewhat on sound as an indicator of oncoming vehicles. In fact, this foreseen problem has indeed become a reality, although hybrid cars are less likely to be involved in a traffic accident, they actually have a higher likelihood (20% higher) of causing pedestrian injury.

There has even been legislation passed in order to regulate the sound cars can make, not how high, but how low it can be, in order to prevent some of the potential accidents that can occur from the lack of sound. Toyota took the first steps to counter this problem with the Camry in 2012, which emits a sound similar to an electric engine, increasing in pitch as it nears an object.

The shocking truth…

Hybrid cars actually tend to be safer than normal cars on the road, unless you’re a pedestrian, but make no mistake, they do have a darker side. If a hybrid is involved in a car accident, the battery may remain on, charging up to 144 to 330 volts DC (direct current).

The first responder to the accident puts themselves in danger of coming into contact with the battery while rescuing someone, they would be electrocuted and suffer serious injury. If it becomes absolutely necessary to come into contact with the battery, it has to be disconnected first and in the rare occurrence of battery leakage, vinegar can be used to neutralise the electrolytes.

In fact, the voltage is high enough to be lethal. But automakers have accounted for this, putting the battery wires in bright orange tubing to indicate the danger, as well as creating a system that disrupts all electric power to the battery when the car is turned off.

 

It’s alive!

A common feature of hybrid vehicles is the engine turning off when the car stops, in order to maintain low emission and fuel usage. Understandably, people tend to assume that the car is off, so they’re completely unaware of the fact that it can move, leading to many obvious problems, especially if the car is facing downhill or if they’re standing in front of it.

Some car companies have incorporated indicators or ‘Ready’ signs to show whether or not the car is still on or not. However, they can only be seen on the car dashboard, so a first responder standing in front of a hybrid can still be unaware of the situation, as the car can move if the driver doesn’t have the brake pressed down. It is procedure for paramedics and firefighters to secure the vehicle and stop it moving before taking any other action.

It’s certain that hybrid cars will play a massive part in the future of the motor industry, but it’s also just as certain that changes need to be made. With attempts to increase the amount of miles per gallon in all cars in the coming years, it’s going to be necessary for all automakers to try to get on par with Toyota, whose Prius has the highest mpg (53) out of all hybrid cars. This means more and more changes in future, which leads us to the real question – When will my car fly? I really don’t want to have to walk places.