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What are Hybrid Cars

With the environment, and especially global warming, a hot topic at the moment (pardon the pun), a lot of people are considering purchasing hybrid cars. But what, exactly, are hybrid cars? This post will explain just that and also tell you some random facts about hybrid cars.

What are Hybrid Cars

Hybrid cars (sometimes called hybrid vehicles) are simply cars that use at least two different power sources (eg. fuel and solar) to move. When most people think about hybrid cars they are thinking about a specific type of hybrid car- hybrid electrical vehicles. These cars (eg. the Toytota Prius) use both rechargeable energy storage (electricity) and gas (petrol). However, cars can be made (at least theoretically) that combine other power sources, such as wind or hydrogen. So, hybrid vehicles are simply those that are powered by different sources of energy.

Facts about Hybrid Cars

  • The United States Environmental Protection Agency listed the 2008 Toyota Prius as the most fuel efficient car sold in the United States. The UK Department for Transport had the Prius tied for third as the ‘least carbon dioxide emitting car’ on sale in the United Kingdom.
  • Rare metals used in the production of hybrid electric cars, dysprosium and neodymium, are in short supply and leading analysts have determined that we may run out of both metals by 2012.
  • Boeing plan to turn their entire Boeing 737NG fleet into hybrid planes by 2010. They plan to use a turbine to power ground movement, so that the main engine must only be used during take-off and the flight (not used when the plane is on the ground).
  • Some cars are modified by the owners to run on things such as vegetable oil and LPG gas. These are considered types of hybrid cars. I wouldn’t recommend doing this to your vehicle!

Other Great “What Are” Posts (well, I think so anyway)

What are GM Foods

What are Platelets

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