Honda Increases its Commitment to Hybrids

hondaAs 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.

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Originally posted 2008-12-31 05:38:08. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Hybrid Electric Car Auto Insurance

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.

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Originally posted 2010-05-02 21:44:54. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Being Hybrid is not Necessarily Being Good

honda1In 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.

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Originally posted 2009-01-16 05:00:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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