Save Gas and Energy With Plug-In Electric Hybrid Vehicles and Electric Cars
Electric Cars and Hybrids - the Fuel of the Future
Can you imagine a day when you may never have to go to the gas pump again? Sound like science fiction? What about America's love affair with oil?
Maybe its time to start breaking up. Today, consumers can purchase plug-in electric hybrid vehicles rather than cars with combustible gasoline engines. These cars run on either 100% electric powered batteries (such as the Nissan Leaf) or are a hybrid vehicle that switches to gasoline when the electric battery is depleted (like the Chevy Volt). The batteries are charged overnight, or during the day when they are parked in garages or at park-and-ride facilities, plugged into converted electrical outlets.
These are not wimpy cars. In PEHVs, technologies exist to allow up to 40 miles on a single charge, at which point the vehicle switches over to fuel. Estimates are that these vehicles get from 100-125 miles per gallon. This could be much higher if you have a short commute and do not drive far enough to switch from battery to fuel power.
The ride is silent, and acceleration capabilities are satisfactory to quite good. The most pleasing prospect, however, is the fact that we can save at the pump, cut back on greenhouse gas emissions, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil production. At the date of this publication, gas prices are climbing into the $4-5/gallon range once again in the United States.
With hundreds of millions of vehicles on the road, especially in congested areas like Los Angeles, Dallas, and New York, the air is downright brown. Couldn't we all breathe a little easier if we convert to cleaner energy sources for our transportation?
How Plug-In Electric Hybrids Work
Read More About Plug-In Electric Hybrids
Electric Car Q&As
- Can you plug into a regular electric outlet? Yes! All it takes is a 120-volt socket in your garage. Some organizations that are spearheading efforts to get the PEHVs into circulation are working with local municipalities and businesses to install outlets in parking garages and park-and ride facilities so that commuters can charge their cars while they are at work.
- What kind of batteries are needed? They are different than the regular battery in your vehicle. Some of the prototypes initially manufactured replaced the standard 1.3 kWh battery pack with a 9 kWh battery pack. Others use powerful lithium-iron batteries. Technologies continue to improve in this department.
- How often will you have to fill the gas tank? That depends on how far you drive your electric car between recharging. If you're only going 20-30 miles a day, theoretically, you could drive for weeks on end without EVER having to go to the pump!
- When will PEHVs be available? They are available now! More models, styles and price points will soon come online.
- How much more will PEHVs cost? The cost of the larger, more powerful batteries will increase the sticker price of a PEHV by about $2,000-3,000 over a conventional hybrid. Federal and state tax rebates may be available, however. And, it is estimated that savings of ownership will more than pay for the initial increased outlay.
- Are they slow or sluggish? Nope. Not at all. They are completely comparable to conventional hybrid vehicles. The Chevy Volt can reach speeds of up to 120 mph!
Go for a Ride in Toyota's PEHV
Electric Vehicles for More than just Passenger Cars
With advancing technologies, we don't have to settle for just passenger vehicles to be plug-in electric hybrids. Buses, taxis, utility vehicles, etc. They can all be powered in this more efficient, clean manner.
Barack Obama has called for all government vehicles to be hybrid. Its not clear if he was referring to PEHVs, but certainly that would seem to be the greenest way to go.
© 2008 Stephanie Hicks
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