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Hybrid Electric Vehicles and Their Advantages

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Hybrid Electric Vehicles and Their Advantages

'The HEV [Hybrid Electric Vehicle] concept goes back to 1905. On November 23 of that year, American engineer H. Piper filed for a patent on a hybrid vehicle. Piper's design called for an electric motor to augment a gasoline engine'(1, pg 2) and thus, the HEV was born. Hybrid Electric Vehicles, otherwise known as HEVs are vehicles that 'combine the internal combustion engine of a conventional vehicle with the battery and electric motor of an electric vehicle'(2).

In this day and age car manufactures are trying to out-compete one another in terms of car features and sales. Technology has come a long way since 1905 but the principle is still the same: to produce hybrid vehicles that not only can compete with standard vehicles in terms of price and available features, but that also offer better mileage and less pollution. One may understand why hybrid vehicles are a good choice, but one may not understand why more auto manufacturers have turned to hybrids instead of electric vehicles. 'HEVs do not share an electric vehicle's main drawback: limited range between chargings. The few thousand electric vehicles on the roads in the U.S' can travel only about 80 miles before their batteries need recharging, which can take anywhere from three to eight hours'(1, pg1). For those who do not wish to be constrained by having to charge up batteries and worry about mileage, HEVs are the next logical choice.

There are two different types of hybrid vehicles: parallel and designated series. The following is a good description of each :

?In a series hybrid, the internal combustion engine drives a generator that charges the batteries, whic...

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...ent as well. Hybrid vehicles emit significantly less pollutants than do standard cars and trucks and their fuel efficiency is also a positive aspect that can attract consumers who are interested in saving money. As technology advances and hybrid technologies becomes more efficient it seems that the HEV ?could be- - and in fact should be - - the car of the near future?(1).

Sources:

1) Online version of Scientific American article, by Wouk, Victor. October 1997.

Hybrid Electric Vehicles: http://www.sciam.com/1097issue/1097wouk.html

2) http://www.ott.doe.gov/hev/what.html

3) http://www.honda2001.com/models/2001/environment.html

4) http://prius.toyota.com/technology/hybrid.html

5) http://prius.toyota.com/green/index.html

6) http://www.epa.gov/autoemissions/

7) http://www.ott.doe.gov/hev/concept.html
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