Sunday, October 29, 2006

What Is Hybrid And How Can It Benefit You?

by: Jackson Porter

With gas prices on the rise and no relief in site, many people are starting to consider the advantage of owning a hybrid vehicle. But what exactly is a hybrid and how can it benefit you? First you should know that hybrids are actually much more common that you might think. For example, many commuter trains and city buses are electric-diesel hybrids. Many types of industrial heavy vehicles are also hybrids such as mining trucks and even submarines.

So the definition then of a hybrid is any vehicle that runs on not just one, but a combination of two power sources. So why should you buy one? Let’s consider the advantages.

Hybrid cars are energy efficient. They are affordable and they are a workable way to deal with our energy situation and are therefore worth supporting. They have small efficient gas engines that work in combination with an electric motor. The two work together, the electric motor recharges while the car is in motion. Efficiency is then maintained by aerodynamic styling, lightweight material, and intermittent engine shut off.

Intermittent engine shut off comes into play when the car is stopped for short periods such as a stop light. The engine then shuts off and kicks back on when the gas pedal is depressed.

Lightweight building materials are used to make the hybrid more energy efficient and emphasis is placed on aerodynamic styling to reduce wind drag. Hybrid cars use low rolling resistance tires which are unique in that they are narrower and stiffer and have a lot less drag which adds to the energy efficiency.

Hybrids are also better for our environment. They emit 97% less emissions than regular cars and have roughly the same amount of carbon dioxide. They get far greater gas mileage and are equally as safe to drive as non hybrid cars.

Hybrids also drive the same as regular cars so it is treated in the same manner; nothing new to learn specific to the handling of a hybrid. Owners of hybrids may also be entitled to incentives. These vary from state to state so check in your area to find out what is available. One blanket incentive is a reduction in federal taxes for hybrid owners.

About The Author

Jackson Porter is a staff writer at and is an occasional contributor to several other websites, including


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