The hybrid vehicles we know today got their start earlier than quite a few of the alternative technologies we consider ‘modern advances.’ In 1915, the Dual Power was designed by Woods Motor Vehicle. Below 15mph an electric motor drove the car, while an internal combustion engine drove the car beyond the point. This is not such a far cry from the hybrids of today, though today’s tech has allowed for greater range and durability of the systems that drive our vehicles at low speeds.
A major advancement in the hybrid market has been harnessing the energy that is wasted when slowing in conventional cars. Hybrids today generate power from the energy generated by braking and store the power for later use at lower speeds. Perhaps the newest development among the hybrid market is the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. PHEVs can be plugged in to provide enough power to operate the vehicle over extended distances on stored energy. As hybrid cars continue to increase in popularity, more and more questions are bound to be asked concerning the lifetime cost of hybrid vehicles. For the time being, it is likely that more toxic emissions are emitted in the creation of hybrid vehicles than conventional vehicles. Hopefully, as hybrid technology develops, this can change.
Sites Worth Visiting
Hybrid Vehicles at Wikipedia
While Wikipedia has several pages dedicated to the different types of hybrid vehicles, this page is a nice portal to all of them. The site is certainly full of information concerning the historical development and application of multiple power source vehicles, but also a decent bit of recent technological discussion. Be sure to take a look at the ‘Forefathers’ section for today’s hybrid electric vehicles.
How Stuff Works
If you’re unfamiliar with How Stuff Works, this is a great introduction. This page is all about explaining how complex mechanisms and concepts work in easy language. The page has pictures, videos, and diagrams to describe the precise workings of hybrid vehicles.
The Union of Concerned Scientists brings us the site to showcase and debate the viability of hybrid technology in today’s cars. The page has a discussion of the most popular hybrids on the market and their merits. Check back as they continue to update the site as more hybrids hit the market.
Blogs and Community Sites
Hybrids at Autoblog
Autoblog might not have great pages dedicated to the specific industries for alternative fuels, but their hybrid page sort of covers it all, and we’ll take that. Why? Because Autoblog is simply the best in the business. They cover virtually everything that’s actually worth covering. Most of the hybrid page is covered with news about the much-hyped Tesla Roadster these days, but when anything significant happens, you can bet they know about it.
Auto Blog Green
This page is like Autoblog’s baby. We’ve linked to the hybrid specific section of the page, so you’ll just get the green news concerning hybrid development. New battery on the horizon? You can bet this page will have the story.
Green Hybrid Forum
Green Hybrid is a nice little green auto community whose best feature is definitely this forum. The page has more active and knowledgeable posters than we really know what to do with, other than read in shock and awe. It’s nice to finally find a community with industry pros dedicated to sharing their wisdom with the rest of us.
Dashboard News - Hybrid
Will hybrids rule? How will they stack up with other green cars? Follow this story on Dashboard News.
Green Cars at eHow
This is more of a conglomerating forum like the one you’ll find at sites like Topix. The page has a lot of interesting posts that are appropriately tagged for dealing with technologies that are directly related to hybrid development. We love that these threads get a lot of views, meaning the most important threads are the ones that get good discussion.
Excuses Are Like Armpits
This little news spot offers a look into the hybrid market and the developments taking place. The page also dispels the most common excuses for not buying a hybrid car today. The page is very informative, and might offer a few surprises for you along the way.
Sneak Peak at the Chevy Volt
A Detroit news crew was recently granted an audience with one of the hottest buzzwords in the hybrid world today, the Volt. The Chevy vehicle is designed to run up to 40 miles on the electric engine, and up to 640 miles with assistance from a small combustion engine. The crew does a nice job, with some video spots, of breaking down the science behind the Volt.
US Hybrid Sales Continue Skyward
Hybrid could easily be the word of the year among automakers for the 2007 sales year. This article at hybridcar.com gives the exact figures behind these sales hogs for the 2007 year. As many folks think gas is headed toward $4 a gallon, you can only bet the numbers will go up.
How to save more money
We all know hybrids are great for the environment, but you've got to love the savings you get when you go green. Learn other tips to pocket some more coin.