Eco Friendly Car Technologies
Despite the fact that there are fewer resources of vital raw materials than ever, major car manufacturers seem to believe they can cash in on the growing demand and not worry about the consequences. Hybrid manufacturing is not just for the wealthy, it's now commonplace in the entire industry. The wave of new models introduced to the market since 2009 reflects this trend.
The car manufacturing industry is being transformed by new technologies
Hyundai has energized its South Korean market by launching its own hybrid, the Elantra LPI. This hybrid is the first to use an internal combustion engine that uses liquefied petroleum gasoline (LPG) for fuel. In response to the concerns about standard nickel batteries, it has also adopted advanced lithium polymer battery technology.
It is interesting to see that hybrids are becoming more popular among luxury manufacturers. In 2009, Mercedes Benz launched its S400 Blue Hybrid and BMW introduced its Active Hybrid 7. This is a sign that these manufacturers realize they can improve their brands by using new hybrid technology. Hybrid engines can also be fitted to existing models, so they are not only able to develop new models but also to improve their brand.
The launch of the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid late in 2010 is a prime example. This is a powerful counter-attack against the environmental protection lobby by car manufacturers. The 4x4, once a prominent symbol of environmental destruction, suddenly seems less bad with a more fuel-efficient engine. This may have been Ferdinand Porsche's original intention back in 1900. Porsche is playing it safe at first, though they only launched the Touareg in the United States. Volkswagen, not to be outdone, announced the Touareg's launch at the Geneva Motor Show 2010.
After launching the Auris Hybrid in May 2010, Toyota isn't content to rest on its laurels. It was also the first European mass-produced hybrid car. This is significant because the starting price is $800 less than the Toyota Prius, which is the pinnacle of hybrid cars. These technologies have seen a decrease in cost as a result of the competition to develop hybrids. Peugeot has also joined the race to develop a hybrid diesel-electric vehicle, the 3008Hybrid. It delivers a remarkable 62 miles per gallon and shows how technology is improving.
The latest car technologies are more efficient and use less fuel.
Regenerative braking technology has helped reduce fuel consumption since 2007. Regenerative braking technology allows energy lost in braking to be captured and stored for electrical accessories like air conditioning. Regenerative braking converts a vehicle's kinetic energy to battery-replenishing power. Normally, heat energy is lost during vehicle braking. Hybrids can also be made more efficient by using their internal combustion engine to produce electricity. An electrical generator is spun to charge batteries and power the electric drive motors.
Hybrids allow the engine to be stopped while it is idling in traffic and then restarted when necessary. This facility is being promoted by manufacturers. Hybrids are a great benefit for pedestrians and cyclists, as they offer cleaner air. This is in contrast to the perception of hybrids being more advantageous for urban driving.
Are green cars gaining ground? While we will be able to see the future, the fact is that most hybrids still use gasoline engines in conjunction with their electric components. This is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. The next challenge for the hybrid car industry is to create hybrids that do not rely on fossil fuels, but instead use bio-fuels, hydrogen, or go completely electric. This will help to prove their green credentials.