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The Efficiency of Hybrid Cars

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Transportation is a large concern in today's modern world. Most individuals have opted to buy vehicles for their personal use. Most of these vehicles consume gasoline and a smaller proportion is hybrid based. These two types of vehicles have many similarities. The two such vehicles require an energy source and both types of vehicles provide an important function to society. That function is to provide people with a reliable form of transportation. Although these two types of vehicles have many similarities, their differences are what distinguish them. Hybrid vehicles are more cost effective, environmentally sound, and safe than the standard gasoline vehicles in the long run.

Cost is a key factor to consumers in determining what vehicle to purchase. On average hybrid vehicles cost fifteen hundred dollars more than the standard gasoline vehicle. However, this extra expense is well invested. A hybrid vehicle can reach sixty-one miles per gallon, whereas a typical gasoline vehicle can only reach twenty-eight miles per gallon. Currently gas costs two dollars and ten cents per gallon. The average individual can be expected to drive fifteen miles per year. This amounts to a total gas expense of eleven hundred dollars. If one were to own a hybrid vehicle this expense would eventually pay for the extra fifteen hundred dollars that was required to buy a hybrid car. In two years one would expect to have saved over seven hundred dollars and in three years more than nineteen hundred dollars. With such an incredible long term saving potential, the hybrid car is surely an economically sound choice.

In addition, another economical factor that hybrid cars have is a technological mechanism known as "regenerative braking". When a hybrid car brakes; the motion of the wheels against the braking mechanism creates heat in the form of kinetic and thermal energy. This kinetic and thermal energy is turned into electricity. This electricity then travels back to the battery source where it is stored until it is needed, or used. In contrast, conventional vehicles use a different braking mechanism. When a standard gasoline car brakes the wheels are merely dragged to stop turning freely. This friction effect causes the same form of heat found in hybrid cars; however this heat is dispelled into the atmosphere instead of being turned into useable energy. The more an individual uses a hybrid car, the more useable energy is produced for the car to use.

Furthermore, the hybrid vehicle is an environmentally life saving decision. Most hybrid cars have been classified as Super Ultra Low-Emission Vehicles (SULEV) or Ultra Low-Emission



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