Thinking of purchasing a hybrid car? If you're not, you better
think again! Buying a hybrid car could be one of the best
depreciating asset investments you can ever make. Normally depreciating
and asset don't go together, but if you buy a hybrid car you just may see
how they can. Yes, a hybrid car is still a car, and we all know
that cars lose their value with time. But with a hybrid car you now
have a chance to minimize that loss by saving at the pump. Below are some
answers to common questions you may ask when buying a hybrid car.
What's Up With Hybrid Vehicles?
by: Diane Nassy
If the price of gasoline has got you scared, and youíre thinking about maybe
trading in your car for a moped, youíve got half the solution right. It might be
time to trade in your car, but forget the moped Ė get a hybrid car
The dictionary defines the word hybrid as: Offspring resulting from
breeding between parents of two different species, and thatís a good
definition for our purposes. Thatís because a hybrid car has a power
plant thatís a cross between a gasoline powered engine and an electric motor.
Whatís the big deal about hybrid cars?
The automobile industry claims that a hybrid car can give you as much
as 20 to 30 miles per gallon more performance than a standard gasoline engine.
That means that you buy less gasoline, and buying less gasoline leaves more
money in your pocket. Youíll need that extra money, however, because hybrid cars
are still relatively expensive compared to traditional gasoline-powered cars. As
more hybrid cars are sold, manufacturing prices will drop, and that drop will be
seen in the selling price.
How does a hybrid car save gasoline?
In a typical automobile, the engine is connected to the transmission via a
mechanical link called the drive train. When the engineís sparkplugs
fire, they ignite gasoline vapor which pushes a piston up and down. This piston
movement gets transferred to the transmission via the drive train. The
transmission turns the wheels and the car goes down the road.
Well, the hybrid car is almost exactly the same except that in
addition to the engine being connected to the transmission, an electric motor is
also connected to the transmission. Actually, there are two different versions
of hybrid cars. The one that was just described is called a parallel hybrid,
because there are two different energy sources connected in parallel to the
The other type of hybrid car is called a series hybrid because the
gasoline engine works in series with the electric motor to power the car. This
is accomplished by having the gasoline engine either charge the carís batteries,
or power the electric motor. The gasoline engine doesnít actually turn the carís
wheels at all.
The parallel hybrid operates off of the electric motor when the car is
being driven below a certain speed, and the gasoline engine kicks in when that
speed is exceeded, or when sensors in the car indicate that the driver has
accelerated suddenly as if to pass or to avoid an emergency situation.
Of course, the gasoline engine is always running even when the electric motor
is powering the car, so some gasoline is always being used.
The series hybrid is always running off of the electric motor, which
restricts the top speed of the car, and the gasoline engine only kicks in when
the batteries need to be charged.
Like all automotive claims, your mileage may vary. Even so, if youíre looking
to spend less money at the gas station, and avoid much of the effect of rising
gas prices, you might want to park a hybrid car in your garage.