Improved Hybrid Technology

by | Mar 30, 2014

As hybrid vehicles continue to grow in popularity, automakers are looking at ways they can improve upon current technology and have even introduced some new innovative ideas that they plan to roll out to the public within the next few years.  Most of the HEV’s we see in The Hybrid Shop are battery electric vehicles; however that is not the only option available in an HEV.  There are completely electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids and now there are even fuel cell vehicles.

Honda unveiled the FCEV Concept at the Los Angeles Auto Show this year to rave reviews.  A fuel cell vehicle uses a combination of hydrogen fuel and oxygen to generate the electricity necessary to power the vehicle.  The beauty of a fuel cell vehicle is that they have exactly zero emissions and their only byproduct is water vapor.  They refuel in minutes versus hours for an hybrid electric vehicle and they have an extended range of up to 300 miles.

Once automakers overcome the cost of the new technology and are able to create an adequate supply for hydrogen fuel, these vehicles have the potential to overtake the electric vehicle market.  Unfortunately, the only available fuel cell vehicle that is currently scheduled for release is the Tucson Fuel Cell from Hyundai.  They say that it will be launched late this spring, however it will be limited to only Southern California consumers and car rental agencies for the time being.

Fully electric vehicles are also available, however they haven’t gained a wide reception among consumers due to their long charging times and limited battery range.  Another drawback of the fully electric vehicle is that they perform poorly in colder climates.  The battery loses efficiency when it is cold so unless you live in a predominately warm climate, this type of vehicle would not be the wisest choice.

We are seeing quite a few more plug-in hybrids come through our shop lately though so they are definitely gaining ground with buyers. The plug-in hybrids utilize a much larger battery pack that you plug in to charge.  The advantage of these vehicles is that they have a much longer range in which you can go on battery power alone before you have to switch over to gasoline power.  GM released the Chevy Volt which did really well, and now they are applying this same technology to their well-appointed Cadillac ELR.

We love working on the different types of hybrids that come into The Hybrid Shop and are excited about all the different advancements that we have seen over the years in the hybrid market. We look forward to the next generation of electric vehicles and you can be guaranteed that we will be ready when they arrive.

 

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