The automotive marketing industry has created so many ways to rank cars today that it seems that just about every car tops some sort of & ldquo;Best of & rdquo; list. With all of the emphasis placed on vehicle ratings, one might think that these awards and recognitions are the sole basis that people use when determining which car to buy. However, consumer research has shown that to not necessarily be the case.
Why Buy A Hybrid?
A lot of people will need to be convinced before they even think about switching their regular car for one of the best hybrid vehicles. When you know the reasons to buy a hybrid you will probably want to learn more about the best hybrid vehicles for 2012 that you could soon be driving.
Hybrids will actively help to reduce the emissions that are produced when driving a vehicle. As hybrids run on electricity and gas more clean energy will be produced when the car is in motion when compared to a gas only car. This is one aspect of owning a hybrid car that a lot of environmentalists are very interested in.
Unlike the first hybrid is the best hybrid vehicles are now able to perform at the same level as gasoline powered vehicles. Previously hybrid cars did not have the horsepower that its gas powered counterparts did. Today hybrid cars have used the constantly evolving hybrid technology to perform better than ever before.
All hybrid cars are able to provide much better mileage than traditional gas powered vehicles. This will then translate to bigger savings when compared with driving a gas powered vehicle of the same size. As you would expect this is one of the main reasons that people are turning to the best hybrid vehicles.
When you purchase a hybrid vehicle you will receive warranties that cover the electric motor, the battery and other parts that are expensive. Having cover for these parts gives consumers additional peace of mind. This can encourage them to look into purchasing the best hybrid vehicles as they are seen as less of a risk.
As hybrid technology advances the future is looking better and better for hybrid vehicles. Combine this with the rise in sales of these vehicles and the demand for improved technology will increase. Many of these improvements will be based around the efficiency of the vehicle which will make them even more attractive to buyers.
Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid 2012
The Toyota Prius 2012 which you can check out in more detail on the Toyota website http://www.toyota.com/prius-plug-in/ is the first ever plug-in car that Toyota have produced and it looks set to be one of the best selling hybrids ever. This model joins the previous Prius models which have been around since 2001 and have currently sold more than one million units. The Prius offers seating for five people with plenty of cargo space. The vehicle is capable of achieving 87 miles per gallon when being driven by gas and electricity or 49 miles per gallon when it is in hybrid mode.
Charging this hybrid will take only 2 ½ - 3 hours and this can be done using a standard 120v household outlet. If you want to make this charge time even faster switch to a 240v outlet and you will cut this charging time in half. In addition to being fast to charge and getting excellent fuel efficiency the Prius also has all of the creature comforts inside the vehicle that you would expect from this world class manufacturer.
Read what the Toyota USA Newsroom has to say about the Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid 2012 on their website and learn more about this innovative and exciting hybrid vehicle for yourself: http://pressroom.toyota.com/releases/toyota+introduces+2012+prius+plug-in+hybrid.htm.
Chevrolet is always at the front of the queue when it comes to technological advances and the Chevrolet Volt showcases many of these. This is one of the best hybrid vehicles for 2012 that has a starting price of $31,645. One of the main features of the Chevrolet Volt is the fact that it can reach speeds of up to 100 mph and travel between 25 – 30 miles on a single charge without switching to using the gas powered engine. This is especially useful for people who have a short commute each day as no gasoline is required for these shorter journeys.To take a closer look at what the Chevrolet Volt has to offer take a look at the official Chevrolet website located here http://www.chevrolet.com/volt-electric-car/.
The safety features that are on this vehicle also make it one of the safest around in terms of crash test results. During these tests the Chevrolet Volt scored five stars out of five and earned a & lsquo;good & rsquo; rating which is the highest safety rating possible. These safety features include knee airbags in the front seats, front side airbags, stability control, anti lock brakes and side curtain airbags that run down the full length of the car. Clearly safety is an important issue for anyone who is purchasing one of the best hybrid vehicles and the Chevy Volt will give you the protection that you are looking for as a driver. Edmunds website review is helpful; and can be found at http://www.edmunds.com/chevrolet/volt/2012/#fullreview.
The Edmunds review of the Chevrolet Volt goes into more detail about the various pros and cons of this vehicle as well as looking at its specifications, the various trims and options that are available, the performance of the car and much more. This will give you a valuable insight into what you can expect if you decide to buy one of the best hybrid vehicles that is currently on the market.
Hybrid Cars: The Early Years
The internal combustion engine was used to charge the battery, which powered the motor. Prior to this, vehicles were mainly powered by batteries and had to stop time and again to recharge. Porsche's design, which used the engine to recharge the batteries, allowed vehicles to be driven long distances without having to stop.
The hybrid car soon grew in popularity, and thousands of new cars were produced in the following years. In the mid 1910's, Woods Motor Vehicle manufacturers introduced one of the best hybrid vehicles of that time. It was a dual powered vehicle, but instead of combining two power sources to give a single output of power, it used an electric battery motor to travel at speeds below 25km/h and gasoline for speeds up to 55km/h.
In the 1920's, the rise of Henry Ford and his assembly line spelled doom for the hybrid car market. Self-starting gasoline powered cars were now cheaper to make, thanks to the specialized production line technique where each person did one particular job. People started buying the new cars that Ford produced, and production of hybrids stopped.
Hybrid cars did not fully re-emerge until the late 1990's despite several attempts being made prior to that. In the 1970's, an engineer named Victor Wouk converted a Buick Skylark from gasoline to hybrid. He also produced many designs for hybrids and came to be known as the "Godfather of the Hybrid." He, however, did not receive any support from the government, despite his models being approved by the EPA, which ultimately led to his projects being abandoned.
General Motors also experimented with hybrid vehicles. The GM 512, which was produced in the 1970's, used electricity to travel at low speeds and gasoline to travel at high speeds. In 1989, Audi produced a concept vehicle called the Audi Duo. It combined a 12-horsepower electric motor with a 139-horsepower internal combustion engine.
Modern Hybrid Cars
The hybrid market, however, did not come to the fore until Toyota introduced the Prius to its Japanese market in 1999. This started a new advent for hybrid vehicles. Also in 1999, Honda introduced the Insight in the United States; this was closely followed by the Toyota Prius a year later. The number of people buying hybrid vehicles grew rapidly, and demand was far greater than supply; at one point, consumers had to wait one year for the delivery of their hybrid vehicle. Meanwhile in Europe, Audi started further development on its Audi Duo concept, and it was mass produced in the late 1990's. The demand there was also high, and many new models were developed in the following years.
In the 21st century, people realized the potential benefits for the environment through the use of hybrid cars. As people became aware, vehicle manufacturing companies started to take note and began designing hybrid vehicles to suit the needs of the people. Honda released the hybrid Civic and hybrid Accord, which offered better fuel efficiency than their gasoline counterparts while maintaining similar performance and features. In 2005, Ford introduced the Ford Escape hybrid, which was the first ever hybrid Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV). This was closely followed by another two SUVs, the Toyota Highlander and Lexus RX 400h. Consumers now had a wider range of vehicles to choose from.
Hybrids offer all the luxuries available in similar gasoline powered cars. They have also passed many safety tests with flying colors. The Toyota Prius is considered one of the safest and best hybrid vehicles on the market. The United States Environmental Protection Agency has voted the Prius as the most fuel efficient car sold in the US. It has also been rated as the cleanest vehicle based on smog forming and toxic emissions by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). In a frontal collision test conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2004 US model Prius scored five star driver rating and four star passenger rating out of a possible five. Front and rear seats also scored four stars out of five in side crashes, while it scored four stars in a rollover test.
Hybrid Cars Of The Future
Recent developments in hybrid cars have led to plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV). They are similar to other hybrids, but in this case, the batteries can be recharged by connecting them to an external electric source. Hybrid cars also use regenerative breaking, a system where vehicle speed is reduced by converting its kinetic energy into electricity, which can be used to power the vehicle.
The future of hybrids lies in the ability of manufacturers to make the batteries more efficient. The batteries used were fairly large, reducing the cargo space in many cars. However, this has changed in recent years with lithium-ion batteries, which are smaller and more efficient. However, the batteries are still very bulky and expensive to maintain. Nanotechnology will play a crucial role in developing batteries that are smaller and can last longer. Thin-film solid-state batteries have been tested in the labs for over 45,000 cycles, and they have shown very little loss in capacity. This is a great sign for the hybrid car market, as companies aim to produce the best hybrid vehicles.
Top 10 Hybrids for 2010.
Considering the high demand for hybrid cars, leading automobile companies from around the world have jumped into the arena, turning their concept hybrid cars into a reality. These hybrid cars are well equipped with the latest features, designs, and more importantly, luxury. Toyota Prius
Responsible for starting the shift towards hybrid cars when it was first introduced in 1997, the Toyota Prius has since gone on to become even better and is currently the best selling hybrid car in the market. The 2010 US model was unveiled at the 2009 & nbsp;North American International Auto Show. It has a 1.8-liter & nbsp;gasoline engine coupled with a 98 horsepower electric motor. The battery pack is much smaller this time, but it is also more efficient. More information about this car can be obtained from the official Toyota website at http://www.toyota.com/upcoming-vehicles/index.html
Ford Fusion Hybrid
Ford Fusion Hybrid is a gasoline-electric hybrid developed by the Ford Motor Company. In January 2010, it was crowned the North American Car of the year. The car has a 2.5-liter, 152 horsepower engine coupled with permanent magnet AC synchronous motor. It has a fuel efficiency of about 20 mpg, and its battery life is very much up to expectations. Further information can be found at the Ford website http://www.fordvehicles.com/cars/Fusion/
Lexus GS 450h
The Lexus GS 450h is one of the best hybrid vehicles when it comes to luxury. It is also the most fuel-efficient car in its class. It has a 3.5 liter 2GR-FSE V6 engine with 24 valves and 297 horsepower. This combined with a 197 horsepower electric motor allows the car to provide performance similar to a V8 without having to pay extra for fuel. It can also accelerate from 0-97 km/h in 5.4 seconds. The car was first released in 2008 and is even better in 2010. More information about this car can be found here http://www.lexus.com/models/GS/
Chevy Volt is a first of its kind plug-in hybrid electric vehicle from General Motors. When fully recharged, the car travels for the first 40 miles solely on battery power, meaning more than 65 percent of Americans who drive less than 40 miles a day might never have to fill up on gas. After the initial 40 miles, the car is powered by a 4-cylinder 1.4-liter gasoline engine. The battery can be charged using any household 110V electric socket; it will take approximately 8 hours to fully charge. More information about this car can be found at http://www.chevrolet.com/electriccar/
The Fisker Karma takes hybrid car design to the next level; it shows that you do not have to compromise sporty looks to get the best fuel efficiency. The Karma is a plug-in hybrid car produced by Fisker Automotive; it consumes only 3.5 liters of fuel for every 100 km it travels. The car can accelerate to 97 kmph in 5.8 seconds, and it sports a top speed of 201 km/h. It is set to hit the US market by September 2010; more information can be found at http://www.fiskerautomotive.com/
The Honda Insight was one of the first hybrids to hit the roads in the US. The 2010 model was announced at the & nbsp;Los Angeles Auto Show, and it is the cheapest hybrid car, costing just under $20,000. It has a 98 horsepower, 1.3L LDA Series l4 gasoline engine coupled with a 13 horsepower DC brushless motor. It also has a fuel efficiency of about 42 mpg and incorporates Honda's new eco assist system that changes colors, allowing the driver to see how efficiently they are driving. More information can be found at http://automobiles.honda.com/insight-hybrid/
Cadillac Escalade Hybrid
Priced at around $75,000, the Cadillac Escalade Hybrid is a luxury hybrid car. It is not a typical hybrid, as it weighs almost three tons and has a fuel efficiency of about 20 mpg. It is a popular hybrid for those who seek pure comfort, but at the same time reduce their footprint on the environment. It sports a 332 horsepower, 6 liter V8 engine and accelerates from 0-97 km/h in 8.2 seconds. Information can be found at the official Cadillac website http://www.cadillac.com/
Mercury Milan Hybrid
Tagged as the sister car of the Ford Fusion, the Mercury incorporates the same engine technology, but with better looks and driving pleasure. Priced just $3,000 above the Ford Fusion, the Milan offers features such as voice recognition, allowing you to select a song or call someone just by calling their name. It even shows the weather and any traffic congestion on the road ahead. Check the website for more details http://www.mercuryvehicles.com/milan/
Toyota's most reliable car is now available as a hybrid with a fuel efficiency of around 33 mpg. It has a 2.4-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine and a 105-kw electric motor with 244-volt battery power. Priced at around $25,000, the hybrid Camry includes all the luxury features found in the non-hybrid version. More information can be found at http://www.toyota.com/camry/
Mercedes ML 450 Hybrid
The ML 450 Hybrid incorporates a 275 horsepower, 3.5 liter V6 gasoline engine combined with two electric motors. The car uses liquid cooling technology to keep the batteries and electrical system cool when under heavy use. Visit this website for more details http://www.mbusi.com/