Hybrid Cars

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I have always wondered what Hybrid cars were all about. Especially because over the past couple of years gas prices have been at record highs. I knew that there were such things as electric cars but until this last year or so I have only seen the wealthy be able to afford to drive them. And from what I had heard about Hybrid cars was that they were over priced, small, and not so attractive cars. No wonder nobody owns them. Now I am starting to see them more often and they aren’t as bad as everyone had said.

For this exploratory essay I first wanted to figure out what a hybrid car was and how it compared to regular cars. I wanted to find out everything that there is to know about them. I wanted to research the hybrid as if I wanted to buy it, which I do.

First off in my search I wanted to figure out what exactly a hybrid car was and how it worked. There are two configurations for hybrid cars. The first configuration uses a gasoline engine to run a generator. The generator supplies electricity to the motor, which drives the wheels, which allows the gasoline engine to run constantly while achieving optimum fuel efficiency. This then minimizes emissions owing to incomplete combustion. A hybrid car with parallel configuration uses both an engine and a motor to drive the wheels depending on driving conditions (1). Hybrid cars use both gas and electric. The gasoline engine is the primary source of power, while the electric motor is used at low speeds. Emissions levels are reduced because the gasoline engine shuts off at low speeds. An additional benefit of the parallel configuration is that no outside source of electric power is required because the engine itself generates the required electricity(How Stuff).

As I was searching on the internet; I also had in mind to find out if everything I had been told about hybrid cars was true. Things like they are expensive to repair, you have to replace the battery all the time, or that they aren’t very safe. In my search I came across an article by Don Hamonds, a writer for the post-gazette, which helped clear some things up. As for high repair costs, technical problems, and the lack of technicians to serve the vehicles that is to be expected but as the popularity grows so will the convenience of owning a hybrid car. The automotive career development center trains about 3,000 people each year to ...

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...). This was a topic that kinda scared me. Not only is the driver not safe in the car, if the electrical system shuts down, but the rescuers are putting themselves in danger. I guess the car company’s are putting their best efforts forward, but only time and experience will help everyone get past this obstacle.

Next I wanted to see how the hybrid car compares to a regular car. I know so far that it gets better gas milage that a regular car dose, but how much better and what else dose it have to offer. I found a very interesting article that was about a guy and girl that worked for the sierra club that went on a road trip to compare a Toyota Prius and a GMC Yukon. They went on a 700 mile trip and compared them to each other. The Prius got 45.5mpg and the Yukon got 16.3mpg, which is a huge difference. On the total trip the Yukon used 43.01 gallons costing $60.24. Whereas the Prius only used 16.3 gallons and it only cost $22.84. To me that is worth buying the Prius. But the most amazing thing was the prius only produced 308 pounds of Co2 in the air but the Yukon produced about 820 pounds. After reading this I was shocked at how much Co2 was put into the air( Hattam 1-4 ).
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