Hybrid Vehicles

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Hybrid Automobiles have both a gasoline engine and an electric motor. That makes them more complex to repair but more environmentally friendly than traditional forms of automobile transportation.

Plug-In Hybrids and the UC Davis HEV Center

UC Davis' PHEV Center ([WWW]Plug-In Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Research Center) is working on the next generation of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles ([WWW]PHEV a.k.a. REEV or EREV) which can be plugged into an electrical wall outlet and charged, for instance, when you sleep at night. A bunch of plug-in vehicles have been built at the HEV Center. Plug-In technology is the ideal solution for both energy crisis and environmental problems, at least for now, while a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle costs about a million dollars. The potential in savings for operating costs is considerable. With gasoline at $3 per gallon (Sept. 2005), the power generated by contemporary hybrid-car engines works out to about 52 cents per kilowatt-hour, while the ability to tap into residential electricity costs only 11 cents per kilowatt-hour.

UC Davis' HEV Center is participating in the [WWW]ChallengeX competition. In this challenge, sponsored by the US Department of Energy & General Motors, seventeen university teams have been challenged to re-engineer a GM Equinox, a crossover sport utility vehicle, to minimize energy consumption, emissions, and greenhouse gases while maintaining or exceeding the vehicle's utility and performance.

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Discussion

My husband and I got our our red 2004 Prius last summer. We waited for nearly 6 months. We love her a lot, although our gas mileage isn't as good as we'd hoped. Her name is Harmony. ~JanelleAlvstadMattson


Although not a hybrid, my 98 TDI Jetta (with my username on the plate!) gets around the same mileage as the hybrids coming out. If VW/AUDI come out with a TDI-based Hybrid, the mileage would likely be close to 70 or 80 MPG. For the Record, I currently get 45-50 MPG for highway and 40-45 for city mileage. —TarZxf


Plug-in hybrids make me wonder. Where does the juice coming out of the outlet come from? If it's a nuclear/wind plant, great - but if it's a fossil-fuel plant, what's the point? —DomenicSantangelo


I know this little tid bit wont make me popular, but here goes. I would STRONGLY recommended staying away from electric and hybrid vehicles. The hybrid battery is highly unsafe and contains worse gases than that of a large truck from the early 1970's. Also smogs are only done at a max of 45MPH, being that the faster you go in a hybrid, the less electric it is and more gas power it has. At wide open throttle in a prius, it is running richer, which means more CO2 and more NOx. Not to mention the process of making these batteries is horrendous. I know that fact gets tossed around a lot, but its very true. The area where they make these batteries is now so barren that NASA uses it to test their vehicles. Not to mention the numerous safety hazards in hybrids.

Here is a breakdown of electrical sources in the US:

Petro: 40%
Coal: 26%
Natural Gas: 20%
Nuclear Energy: 8%
Renewable Energy: 6% :'(

I would also caution against electric cars because they punish those around you. It will cause electric bills for everyone to rise due to supply and demand. Right now those of us on bikes laugh at gas prices. But electric will effect us now. My advice is to go Diesel. It has endless potential, or you can spend money and have your car's air fuel ratio tuned out properly. I did and it was well worth the money. Also, after I had my vehicle tuned it passed emissions with flying colors. So please do some research on what you're buying into, I would hate to see us going in just another circle.

Thanks :D —Dozer

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