As automakers are unveiling plans for battery-operated, plug-in automobiles, Honda Motor Co. released news that is will increase its commitment to the movement by working to supply new lithium ion batteries for hybrid vehicles. This joint venture with GS Yuasa Corporation will use over $170 million dollars of capital to introduce new, high power lithium batteries. In their current agreement, Honda will hold a 49 percent share of the operation.
Honda's hopes are to take current hybrid solutions and truly bring them into vehicles in the mid to larger size range. This will provide a good short term solution to reduction carbon dioxide emissions. The lithium ion battery packs being built will provide the power needed for hybrids in these sizes of vehicles, but the technology and powered density of these batteries will be too much for the purely electric cars. This will be the first time that Honda will offer lithium packs in hybrid vehicles, given that lithium ion batteries are smaller and lighter for a given energy density (but are more expensive).
The Toyota Prius will be under going numerous tests for a lithium ion, plug in only car model in 2009, while GM hopes to release plug in volts by 2010. In 2010, Nissan has plans to introduce a new model of plug in cars that have the ability to travel up to 100 miles on a single charge.
Setup and finalizing the venture with GS Yuasa has caused a set back in Honda's other plans for clean-diesel autos, and has suspended for an indeterminate amount of time the plans for the release of fuel efficient diesel cars in 2009. The reasoning is that cleaning up diesel is a much more expensive process, especially with the ever increasing gap between gas and diesel prices. Honda's plans for offering more hybrids are expected to bring down the price of individual components, which may ultimately help in working with diesel and using its cleaner carbon content with out extra cost.
Current hybrids utilize nickel-metal-hydride batteries, which are heavier and only hold little more than half of what lithium ion battery can provide. The problem lies in the difficulty in producing large lithium ion packs, which is a more costly than other batteries. GS Yuasa is a supplier for lead-acid batteries and lithium ion packs for the Asimo robots. The batteries of today are not good enough to make the electric hybrid a viable option for electrical cars. The technology has to move forward, taking batteries with it.
Honda is looking to obtain aid from the government as the current economy is crumbling all over. This has cut into car production and profits for the automaker. Honda's profits have dropped by a third over the last fiscal year. With the development of these new lithium ion packs, a venture that will begin in the spring 2009 it is hopeful that Honda can pull itself out of a tough place.
This post is a guest blog written by Travis Overby.
With skyrocketing gas prices and the increasing concerns about the impact of carbon emissions on the environment, Hybrid Electric Cars have been growing in popularity. A hybrid electric vehicle combines a fuel-efficient gas engine with an electric motor. The purpose of these cars is to decrease the amount of fuel emissions being released into the atmosphere. As well, the car can travel longer distances than a conventional car which decreases gas consumption.
Hybrid electric cars have a number of benefits that include: decrease the emission of greenhouse gases, reduce pollution, and decrease energy consumption. As technological advancements in these vehicles increase, these cars will able to make use of a variety of different types of fuels as natural gas, ethanol, and biodiesel.
Hybrid vehicles contain a large battery, electric motor, and traditional engine. There are ‘plug in’ hybrids that need to be charged by plugging them into a power source. Other hybrids called, ‘charge sustaining’ works by the electricity going into the battery being produced by the internal combustion engine. All hybrid electric cars have a computer that is programmed to operate the car. The distance that the car can travel using the stored electricity will vary according to the particular model.
Today, the sales of hybrid cars are steadily increasing. For instance, in January 2010, in the US, sales of hybrids were 17,157 units. For this reason and the fact that there is a trend to encourage people to buy more fuel efficient cars, insurance companies are providing insurance discount incentives. Hybrid owners can often receive as much as a 10% hybrid insurance discount which can result in substantial long term savings. As well as saving up to 10% on hybrid insurance, it is important for hybrid owners to take advantage of other available discounts such as: good student grade discounts, low mileage discounts, safe driver discounts, antitheft discounts, multi vehicle discounts, senior citizen discounts, safety feature discounts, and more. The best way to get a cheap car insurance policy is to comparison shop for at least three different quotes from different insurance companies.
Because there is a global trend to become less dependent on fossil fuels, the sales of hybrids cars is expected to increase significantly in the coming years. Hybrid Electric Cars are expected to be the design vehicles of the future.
The newest car solution seems to be to meet the gas crisis by putting out more green hybrid electric cars. With gas prices fluctuating and the state of the economy up in the air as it is, driving a car in America has become quite a hassle and many people are turning toward other options because it feels like continuing to operate their vehicles will be a waste of money when there are scooters, motorcycles, bicycles, rideshares and public transportation to consider. Alternatives like public transportation and car pooling are becoming much more prevalent in this day and age, and the demand for gas guzzling options like the newest SUV to hit the market is not as high as it once was because gas prices simply are not cooperating.
Luckily, the big three automakers in the United States are wising up to this fact and seem to plan on combating the low turnover for new automobile sales by creating new vehicle options that cater to the needs of people looking for hot new vehicles that also happen to be hybrid electric cars. More demand is being placed on used cars and smaller cars because they are more affordable, and in many cases can offer better mileage, so the big three automakers in the United States are going to make less money until they nip this problem in the bud by producing vehicles that will create increased demand, and this is where hybrid electric cars are coming in.
The big three automakers really need to find a way to push out more green hybrid electric cars, as well as hybrid trucks, SUTs and SUVs, offering them at competitive and affordable prices in order to drum up some support and demand. This is going to take care of the fueling crisis, because there will be new style preferences and model preferences and less stress will be placed on trying to find a fuel efficient vehicle when there are so many options on the market.
If the big tree automakers continue to lobby for and invest in electric refueling stations and other similar concepts, they would gain more popularity for their companies while offering new chances for consumers to get hybrid electric cars, which save money and cut down on harmful greenhouse gas emissions. If there were more refueling stations out there for green hybrid electric cars, then there would be more hybrid cars and more electric cars, and the sales of these vehicles would also increase significantly because these dynamics absolutely go hand in hand with one another. Even as the gas prices go down, it is still incredibly wise for green hybrid electric cars to take over the street, because these cars offer exceptional benefits. More electric and hybrid car sales and more refueling stations for these green hybrid electric cars will absolutely lead to more profits for these automakers, which in turn would lead to more jobs and less layoffs, benefiting not only the consumers, but the companies and their employers as well.
Green Hybrid Electric Cars will be website dedicate to the hybrid electric cars aka HEVs. With the price of oil and the toil on our environment we should all consider doing our part to reduce or replace our fuel consumption with cleaner alternatives. This website will have resources for the hybrid car owner. As I prepare the website for launch please consider checking out the hybrid electric car dealership.
In today's day and age, hybrid has become a synonym for what is good in the eco-friendly movement. Not all hybrids are created the same, and in actuality many rate quite poorly. Whether it is poor fuel economy or a negative impact on the environment, these hybrids show that bearing the moniker of hybrid, does not necessarily mean that the car will have a positive impact on the planet or your wallet.
When automobile owners hear the word hybrid, their thoughts immediately go to gasoline. Those gallons of gas will be saved in the switch to hybrid vehicles. Take for example the Chevrolet Tahoe 2-Mode hybrid. The 2-mode system gives the Tahoe dynamic control over two or four wheel drives. This imparts a forty percent improvement to mileage, at an MSRP of over fifty thousand. This is the problem with the vehicle as a hybrid. Despite the extent of improvement in fuel economy, the total benefit to the driver will not match the benefits for other hybrids. Worse yet, it will be unlikely that an SUV such as the Tahoe would not come close to meeting or exceeding the benefits from other vehicles. It is for this reason that consumers should investigate all variables when looking into a hybrid to purchase. These include prices, mileage for the hybrid and non-hybrid version, internal space, vehicle weight, and so on.
Another way that hybrids are not the best choice is when they fail tests that should not be failed. Vehicles like the Honda Accord Hybrid were not able to pass their initial emissions test. After Honda pulled the car and worked the internals to address the problem, the hybrid once again failed the test. All of this equates to costs for the owner, because not only will their vehicle fail emissions, but they will have to pay for the fix, and then pay for retesting. Before the retest, the driver can not legally drive the vehicle. This situation shows how vital it is to research not only the specifications provided by the manufacturer, but also news reports regarding the vehicle and issues it may have. The manufacturer can edit their web page, but not online news sources will forever exist in the digital ether. Honda's website shows their non standard hybrid on the webpage, while information on the Accord is hard to come by. A hybrid which fails emissions is not really getting the point.
Most hybrids on the market have passed their emissions, and are true deals for their owners. These hybrids will have passed emissions tests in many states and high mileages. Despite this, there are a few bad apples. These bad apples hurt the environment, with their failing emissions, and hurt the wallets of their owners. These hybrids serve as poor investments, and for those consumers looking for a hybrid that is eco-friendly as well as good for the wallet, then a good deal of research into the best hybrid is necessary. Look at manufacturer specifications as well as news reports into the reliability and any press worthy issues that may arise.
Given the newness of green hybrid electric cars, you might not think it's easy to find a used one for sale. They are out there, though. Many people who are financially fortunate enough to be able to do so tend to swap out cars every 2 or 3 years so that they're never faced with a car that needs repair, and apparently some still do this with the new hybrid cars. Look around in your local paper and weekly sales papers like penny savers or that type of local swap and sell publication. You can also search online for used green hybrid cars in your area, and you can look at dealerships for used green hybrid cars.
The big benefit of purchasing a used green hybrid electric car is the price. Some new hybrid cars are high-priced enough to make it unlikely the average American consumer will ever own one. If you can find a high-priced used green hybrid vehicle that's used, you'll pay much less to drive an environmentally friendly car.
While some green hybrid cars like the Prius are priced in a more moderate range, a used one will still cost less and so it's easier for most families to own. It's also even more environmentally friendly than purchasing a new green hybrid car. A certain amount of energy goes into the production of a hybrid vehicle, and that requires a certain amount of fuel and, let's face it, pollution. Rather than purchasing a new car with that “carbon debt” that has to be paid off, when you purchase a used green hybrid electric car, you're inheriting a carbon debt that's already partially paid. The same holds true for purchasing any vehicle—it's always greener to go used that new.
You'll need to use the same common sense when searching for used green hybrid car that you use when looking for any kind of used car. Find out about who owned it before, the car's history, and why the owner wants to sell it. Have it checked out by a mechanic—one familiar with hybrid car technology.
The advantage of purchasing a used green hybrid car from a dealership is that there may be a warranty attached that you won't get from a private seller. Just because you purchase from a dealership, though, you're not guaranteed that there won't be problems, or that you're getting an honest deal. But the likelihood of problems is usually reduced. A private seller just wants to sell a car, but a dealership selling used green hybrid electric cars consider, and will do what they can to protect that reputation to ensure future business.
Also, do some research. You might end up deciding to buy a new model if the first generation model had some significant drawbacks, for instance. Or you could decide to wait, if it turns out the manufacturer is about to unveil a new green hybrid electric car that seems far superior to the used one you're considering.
This will not just be a Prius with a solar panel in order to power the AC, according to the Nikkei. Toyota's goal is to design a completely solar-powered car, with a twist. In addition to solar panel on the car, there is also a set of solar panels for the home. The home based panels collect energy, and transfer it upon plugging the electric vehicle into the home. In the future, Toyota will want to produce a completely electric vehicle that relies solely on the solar panel mounted on the car.
The futuristic vehicle is promising to take Toyota and bring them to the forefront of automobiles being offered as ecological personal vehicles, but it will be a few years off before being available for purchase. In the interim, the plan to utilize the home as a secondary source of electricity via solar panels enables the company to use current technologies to make their vehicle operate under green power.
This step towards green vehicles is all part of the plan to boost profits in today's economic climate. This comes after recent news that Toyota has run into their first operating loss in over 70 years. The global economy is to blame to the reduction of sales which has many automakers in a pinch. Combined with the ever growing yen in the Japanese market, and you have the makings of a grave financial need. Despite all of that however, Toyota is still the leader in green technologies and has vowed not to cut back on R&D research.
The solar panel technology currently considered is already in use by the main manufacturing plants of the Lexus and Camry vehicles in order to offset their energy costs during manufacture by generating their own electricity. The solar panels roughly cover an area of 60 tennis courts and could power 500 homes. That is equivalent to a CO2 reduction of 740 tons every year. Toyota will also stand to gain when their partner Panasonic takes over Sanyo Electric, an industry leader in solar technology.
So this move by Toyota looks to really push the car giant ahead of the pack. With demonstrations of the potential for the solar panel technology, it is clear that once Toyota incorporates the new technology into their vehicles, there will be a steady decrease in the amount of carbon dioxide emissions. The performance will improve with the acquisition of the Sanyo Company by Panasonic. One should keep their eyes peeled for the new Toyota solar cars, which for know will get part of their energy from panels on you home's roof.
Will this technology be what pulls Toyota from financial trouble?
They already have demonstrated the capabilities of the systems that are using now. Combined with the new technology they hope to get, and the one, two delivery system of the current release plans, and they are poised to really take off. One can hope that other car manufactures will take Toyota's lead and develop their own iterations of green cars.
There is a revolution going on right now that has many consumers purchasing electric cars, hybrid cars and other green vehicles and cars as a means of increasing the efficiency of their vehicles while decreasing the emissions that their cars create while they are on the road. While one way to be more green when it comes to driving is simply to leave your car at home and to take the bus or ride a bike instead, if you absolutely must drive a car, you can turn to numerous green car options that increase efficiency while decreasing the amount of emissions that you create while driving, especially in heavy stop and go traffic. Here are some of the green car benefits that you can consider. One of the best types of hybrid cars to consider is the diesel electric hybrid electric vehicle, or diesel HEV, which provides numerous benefits to the ecosystem and your gas bill, including the following:
1 - Power on Demand.
Green diesel hybrid electric vehicles are capable of saving a significant amount of energy and cutting down significantly on emissions by providing power on demand. What this means is that green diesel hybrid electric vehicles can temporarily shut off the internal combustion engine during periods where it is not necessary to run, such as during modes where the vehicle is coasting or idling. This is because these are situations where the electric motor is providing more than enough energy all on its own to provide power to the various systems in the vehicle, meaning that the vehicle can be kept running properly without petroleum being burned to keep it going. This is an absolutely effective way to increase efficiency while reducing harmful emissions, which is why HEV vehicles are considered to be so green in nature.
2 - Smaller Engine Size.
Green diesel hybrid electric vehicles are capable of saving a significant amount of energy and cutting down significantly on emissions by providing a much smaller engine size. This is one of the largest gains that you will experience when it comes to green vehicles and hybrid vehicles, because it offer significant overall efficiency by using a much smaller engine that is naturally much more efficient as well. Most traditional vehicle engines are sized so that they can provide power for fast acceleration, though this is relatively infrequent and during most driving, the engine is much larger than it needs to be to be effective. For this reason, HEV vehicles and other green hybrid vehicles implement an electric motor so that some of the power that is delivered during the acceleration process is electric in nature, greatly reducing how much energy the internal combustion engine has to produce for the acceleration process. For this reason, a hybrid electric vehicle can be equipped with a much smaller engine while still providing the same amount of power during the acceleration process with far less emissions as a result.
3 - Regenerative Braking.
Green diesel hybrid electric vehicles are capable of saving a significant amount of energy and cutting down significantly on emissions by providing regenerative braking. This is an excellent method of saving energy and cutting down on emissions which is why it is implemented in every HEV concept or green car concept. Regenerative braking allows energy that would normally be lost through the braking process to be recovered instead, and this energy is stored within the batteries in the electric engine so that the electric motor can make use of it later. The engine powered generator produces electrical energy only when there is not already a full charge that is being provided through the regenerative braking process. In other words, you are creating powerful energy in your car every time you brake, and cutting down on energy expenditure and emissions in the process.
4 - Constant Engine Speeds and Power Output.
Green diesel hybrid electric vehicles are capable of saving a significant amount of energy and cutting down significantly on emissions by providing constant power output and constant engine speeds. This way, the diesel engine is only going to be used when it engine has reached optimum power output and engine speeds. In all series and parallel hybrids, this can be enabled when the engine is powering the electric generator, rather than providing power directly to the wheels. By allowing the diesel engine to operate more consistently, fuel efficiency can be increased while emission output is decreased.
Secondary Benefits of green vehicles include increased vehicle performance, conventional fueling infrastructure and cost effectiveness.
5 - Increased Vehicle Performance Capabilities.
Green vehicles like HEV hybrid electric vehicles can achieve excellent performance levels that are comparable in nature to conventional vehicles. Diesel hybrid electric vehicles for example offer excellent power and acceleration capabilities along with a driving range that is either equal to our greater than alternative fuel powered vehicles with direct drive.
6 - Conventional Fuel and Fueling Infrastructure.
In contrast to many other alternative fuel vehicles, one of the differences that is provided by diesel hybrid electric vehicles and other similar green vehicles is that they can use fuels like diesel, which allows for them to be refueled conventionally. While some hybrid vehicles and other alternative vehicles cannot be refueled conventionally, there has been resurgence in the number of vehicles that can refuel normally while still providing enormous alternative energy benefits.
7 - Cost Effectiveness and Availability.
Gasoline powered hybrid electric vehicles, including diesel powered hybrid electric vehicles are not completely available yet, but they are slowly becoming made available in numerous different types of passenger cars. Diesel HEV vehicles are being released in a number of different vehicle applications including mass transit busses, trucks, SUVs and other types of vehicles. This type of experience is indicating that diesel hybrid electric vehicles and other similar vehicles are going to be not only more cost effective, but also much more widely available over time, making them an excellent alternative for driving while cutting down emissions and increasing overall efficiency.
As with many of the vehicles released by Toyota, the Prius has truly become the bearer of standards within its segment. While many automakers still have not developed a green hybrid electric car, Toyota is already working on its second generation version of the Prius. This unique four door hybrid electric car has become an absolute hit with many consumers around the country because it offers excellent fuel economy in conjunction with driving and acceleration characteristics that are relatively uncompromised, and a price that is considered to be reasonable when you look at everything that this car can offer you.
The Toyota Prius, which derives its name from Latin for "to go before" exists as what is essentially a partial solution to the issue of tailpipe emissions that automobiles create. The Prius, along with many other hybrid cars, has a special power train that is designed to combine gasoline powered internal combustion engine capabilities with an electrical motor. This power train, along with numerous other advanced features, allows for the Toyota Prius to deliver a much higher fuel economy capability along with lower emissions when compared to other regular cars.
Due to its popularity as well as its positive sales history, the original hybrid car from Toyota has become a strong candidate for any shopper who is interested in buying a hybrid electric car. So far, the reputation that Toyota has built for providing durability and reliability is absolutely holding true when it comes to the Prius. Early concerns about whether or not the Prius could offer durability on a long term basis have been discredited, but potential buyers of the Toyota Prius hybrid electric car should still take extra care when researching potential cars to make sure that they are buying the right choice. The Toyota Prius is, after all, quite a complex vehicle, and this means that replacing parts and having the car repaired could be expensive in the future.
The current Toyota Prius is the second generation Prius, which is a much improved model. It features a four door body with a hatchback, and can seat as many as five people. The hybrid power train in this car features a small engine fueled by 1.5 liters of gasoline, which is used in conjunction with two electric motors. This car's special planetary gear set allows it to function with a continuously variable transmission, resulting in an adequate amount of power, a significant reduction in tail pipe emissions and an excellent fuel economy as well.
Both power sources come together under full acceleration of the vehicle, providing the maximum amount of power. Under lighter load conditions, the Prius can alternate between the two different types of engines, often running only on the battery power. This car makes use of a regenerative braking system, converting heat energy into electricity to keep the battery pack charged on a consistent basis. The gasoline engine in the Toyota Prius hybrid electric vehicle can produce 76 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, making it a decently powered engine for what it is.
You might not think the current recession will have much effect on the production and sales of green hybrid electric cars, at least not any more than it affects sales of cars in general. Car sales are at a low right now with manufacturers like GM closing plants for a month to save money, forcing employees to take unpaid vacation time and implementing other drastic measures to try to cut costs without having to lay off more employees.
This affects car production overall, but is especially dangerous for the emerging popularity of green hybrid electric cars that are currently in production and scheduled to be released soon like the Chevrolet Volt. When car companies were lining up and begging Congress for a multi-billion dollar bailout to avoid bankruptcy, rumors swirled about Volt production coming to a halt thanks to the poor economy and car makers' troubles.
Considering that part of the condition for a Congress bailout was a plan put in place to show how the car makers planned to revamp their business plans to make themselves profitable again while providing quality products, one might think that the fast release of green hybrid electric cars that are good for the environment and consumers' pocket books might be part of those improvement plans. Since future product plans are such an important condition of the bailout, it seemed unlikely that they would abandon the project.
Now that the bailout has been approved and the government is loaning auto makers billions of dollars to be repaid at approximately 5% interest, it turns out that the green hybrid electric car, the Chevrolet Volt, has not been abandoned after all, but the talk of it being put on hold or halted was just a rumor. The plant where the drive train would have been manufactured is no longer going to be the plant to do so, but that task will fall to a different plant rather than being abandoned altogether. The green hybrid electric cars made by Chevrolet are still scheduled to hit the roads in the United States in late 2010, just as the company had planned before.
The Toyota Prius is an imported car, but there were plans to build a plant in Mississippi for American manufacture of the Prius. The current economy has put those plans on hold because Toyota is struggling with poor sales, like all car manufacturers. And Prius sales have dropped dramatically, probably due to the plunging price of gas. A green hybrid electric car seems less important when gas is under $2 a gallon, as opposed to how important it seemed when the national average price of gas was close to $5 a gallon. The plant will still be built, but plans to manufacture the Prius there have simply been postponed.
Like everything else, consumer interesting in green technology comes in waves that seem to follow the economy more than anything else. Recessions don't last forever, and the price of gas will rise again prompting renewed public interest in green hybrid electric cars.