Hybrid Cars – A Glimpse into the Future?

Posted on 23 October 2012 by Tony Santos

As environmental issues have become more and more prominent, there has been increasing pressure on car manufacturers to alter the way in which they power their vehicles.

Lexus LF LC Hybrid

In recent years, hybrid vehicles have emerged as a possible solution going into the future, and may prove to be a step toward cleaner transport and lower energy costs.

Though we don’t know exactly where the technology will end up, and what kind of vehicles we will be driving in the coming decades, by looking at how hybrid cars operate we can give ourselves a good idea of the future of personal transport.

Hybrid cars typically operate on a dual power system, running both a small electric motor and a larger petrol engine. However, these power sources are used at different times depending on exactly what the car is doing. On board computers regulate which engine is put to use according o the speed at which the car is traveling and to what extent it is accelerating or decelerating.

At lower speeds, and while accelerating or decelerating, the electric motor is used, while at higher speeds, the traditional petrol engine is used.

Those manufacturers designing hybrid cars, such as Lexus UK, have ensured that this system runs at maximum efficiency. Consequently, it is those times that a driver is most likely to be stopping and starting regularly, in city traffic for instance, that the electric motor is most used.

This allows the cars to remain extremely fuel efficient and actually comparably cheap to run. In many hybrid vehicles, the electric motor will also be charged when the brakes are called into action.

Any energy generated by the forces causing you to slow down and stop are transferred to the electric motor’s battery. This means that, in most hybrid vehicles, no stationary charging is required at any point.

Hybrid cars offer a glimpse into the future by showing us exactly how we may begin to move away from fossil fuels as a dominant power source. As these fuels become less abundant, more expensive and continue to damage the environment, other means of powering vehicles will become necessary.

The way in which hybrid cars are often designed to generate some power through their own movement and braking is also an interesting idea, and one that will become more and more useful in the future.

We have now reached the stage of development where hybrid cars are being designed that are just as sleek and beautiful as any other car available on the market. The availability of lightweight materials for body design and the increasing efficiency of other technology all point towards hybrid cars as a vehicle that will continue to be developed into the future.

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